Lung Cancer Awareness Month Blog
November 18, 2020
November is Lung Cancer Awareness month. Today, lung cancer is the second most common cancer among men and women, and it is the deadliest in the United States, making up 25% of all cancer deaths (2). This year alone, the American Cancer Society projects there will be a sobering 228,820 new cases of lung cancer and upwards of 135,720 deaths (2).
Lung Cancer occurs when the cells in a lung mutate or change and it comes in one of two forms – small cell and non-small cell. While non-small cell cancer is the most common, occurring in approximately 84% of cases, the two forms are managed differently so understanding the difference is imperative to direct accurate therapy (2,3). The key to properly managing cancer is to understand the amount and location of the disease. Specifically, which cancer, where it has spread and which parts of the lungs it infects.
There has long been a misconception that lung cancer is a “smoker’s disease” however, in recent years, the increase in lung cancer in non-smokers continues to grow at an alarming rate. Read one of our blogs to learn more about this stigma, and to get the facts.
Often, lung cancer has no early symptoms, making early detection extremely difficult. Because of this, in the US, the five-year survival rate of lung cancer is around 19% and has hardly improved over the past several decades (1). At Body Vision, this is part of why we do what we do. Since day one, our mission has been to address the unmet clinical need for early lung cancer diagnostics. The Body Vision Platform is a comprehensive, cost-effective solution based on the power of Data Science. We believe there is a world where lung cancer doesn’t have to be the end. Instead, it can be managed, and patients can find hope and options for continued care and prolonged life.
If a loved one has been diagnosed with lung cancer, there are many ways you can support and help them through this challenge. Read up on a few from our partner, Scott Sanders at CancerWell. Nicole Brough, Senior Director of Clinical Education and Communications at Body Vision shares some of her most important tips when caring for a family member battling lung cancer.
1. As difficult as it can be, do your best to see the disease through their eyes. Try to prioritize their emotional well-being and not overwhelm them with your own grief.
2. Offer specific options to support them (IE: I will bring over dinner on Wednesday for your family. Do you prefer tacos or pasta?).
3. It's also important to try to have someone with them at all appointments, even if it's just on Facetime or over the phone if COVID-19 limits in-person visits with patients.
4. Seek second opinions as necessary. Cancer care isn't black and white. Sometimes a fresh perspective can offer a better suited treatment plan for an individual, or at least confirm they are on the best pathway.
This month and every month, we invite you to join us in our journey as we pave the way for early lung cancer diagnostics and pioneer a new standard of care. Together we can raise awareness and create change. This is just the beginning.
1 - Lung Cancer - Non-Small Cell - Statistics. (2020, May 28). Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/lung-cancer-non-small-cell/statistics
2- Lung Cancer Statistics: How Common is Lung Cancer. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
3- Signs & Symptoms of Lung Cancer & What You Need to Know: American Lung Association. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/learn-about-lung-cancer