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Lung Cancer Awareness: While Treatments Advance, Prevention Remains Key
CLARION CO., Pa. (EYT) – Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths across the nation, and while treatments have advanced, and screenings are more likely to catch the issue early, prevention remains key.
According to Tracy Myers, Manager of the Cancer Center at Clarion Hospital, lung cancer screenings have now become the standard of care, and advances in treatment have made a serious difference in the lives of patients.
“When I began my career in oncology thirty years ago, the therapies to treat lung cancer were limited and very toxic. Although some of these older drugs are still used, the newer treatments for lung cancer have advanced greatly,” Myers to exploreClarion.com.
While the importance of early detection and treatment cannot be understated, awareness and prevention are still a key focus of reducing the massive impact of lung cancer.
“Many people are aware that smoking, exposure to radon and asbestos are linked to lung cancer. Simply stated – eliminate the risk factors, and we can eliminate new cases of lung cancer.”
Smoking is considered one of the largest contributors to lung cancer and is linked to about 80% to 90% of lung cancer deaths in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Locally, the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion County Drug and Alcohol provides free tobacco cessation classes for people interested in quitting. Those interested in enrolling in cessation classes can contact the Tobacco-Free Coordinator for Clarion, Clearfield, and Jefferson counties at 814-226-6350.
Any Pennsylvanian 14 years of age or older who smokes or uses chewing tobacco can also call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) to receive help dealing with their tobacco addiction. The toll-free hotline provides service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
While lung cancer has been in a slow decline over the last decade in our nation, it still accounts for about 13% of all new cancer cases in the U.S. and causes 25% of the cancer deaths in the nation, according to the National Cancer Institute. It remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. with a current five-year survival rate of just 18%.
(This is the second article in a series in recognition of Lung Cancer Awareness Month.)
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