Everything To Know About Lung Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment

The average person has a one in 15 chance of getting lung cancer. It is the second most prevalent cancer in the US, and nearly 149,000 Americans die of it every year, says the Prevent Cancer Foundation. But how much do you know about this deadly disease?

Lung cancer spreads to other organs more often than other diseases. Some people believe that lung cancer only results from smoke, but that isn’t true. Common symptoms, such as a chronic cough and fatigue, are often ignored. Read on to learn everything about lung cancer–symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

What Causes Lung Cancer?

There are several different causes of lung cancer. According to the American Lung Association, 90% of all cases stem from tobacco use. Research suggests that smoke changes DNA in the lungs, which develops into tumors. If you quit smoking, your risk of cancer lowers, but it does not vanish completely.

A doctor points at a lung x-ray.
Courtesy of the American Cancer Society via Getty Images
Courtesy of the American Cancer Society via Getty Images

Radon–an odorless, radioactive gas in the soil–is the second highest cause of lung cancer. Exposure to chemicals such as arsenic, uranium, and asbestos can also kickstart lung cancer. If your home is exposed to chemicals or air pollution, you have a heightened risk.