MayoClinic.com Feature Focuses on Lung Cancer

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Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States among men and women. The disease claims more lives each year than colon, prostate, lymph and breast cancers combined. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 161,840 men and women will die of lung cancer in 2008.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States among men and women. The disease claims more lives each year than colon, prostate, lymph and breast cancers combined. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 161,840 men and women will die of lung cancer in 2008.

MayoClinic.com offers in-depth content regarding lung cancer causes, risk factors and prevention.

Causes

Smoking causes the majority of lung cancers -- in smokers and in people exposed to secondhand smoke. Experts believe smoking damages the cells that line the lungs. Those cells are where lung cancer most commonly begins. When an individual inhales cigarette smoke, which is full of cancer-causing substances (carcinogens), changes in the lung tissue begin almost immediately. These changes can eventually lead to lung cancer.

Risk Factors

A number of factors may increase an individual's risk of lung cancer. Some lung cancer risk factors can be controlled, for instance, by quitting smoking. And other factors are not so controllable, such as your gender. Risk factors for lung cancer include:

-- Smoking
-- Gender
-- Exposure to secondhand smoke
-- Exposure to radon gas
-- Exposure to asbestos and other chemicals
-- Family history of lung cancer
-- Excessive alcohol use

Prevention

Ways to reduce lung cancer risk include:

-- Don't smoke
-- Stop smoking
-- Avoid secondhand smoke
-- Test your home for radon
-- Avoid carcinogens at work
-- Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables
-- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all
-- Exercise

Coping and Support

A cancer diagnosis is devastating, and coping with lung cancer is difficult. Coming to terms with the diagnosis may take some time and several steps, for example:

-- Learn about lung cancer
-- Take an active role in treatment
-- Build a strong support system
-- Set reasonable goals
-- Stay active

For more information about how to prevent or reduce the risk of lung or other cancers, visit MayoClinic.com.

About MayoClinic.com
Launched in 1995 and visited more than 15 million times a month, this award-winning Web site offers health information, self-improvement and disease management tools to empower people to manage their health. Produced by a team of Web professionals and medical experts, MayoClinic.com gives users access to the experience and knowledge of the more than 3,300 physicians and scientists of Mayo Clinic. MayoClinic.com offers intuitive, easy-to-use tools such as "Symptom Checker" and "First-Aid Guide" for fast answers about health conditions ranging from common to complex; as well as an A-Z library of more than 850 diseases and conditions, in-depth sections on 24 common diseases and conditions, 16 healthy living areas including food and nutrition, recipes, fitness and weight control, videos, animations and features such as "Ask a Specialist" and several consumer blogs. Users can sign up for a free weekly
e-newsletter called "Housecall" which provides the latest health information from Mayo Clinic. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.com/.

To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to http://www.mayoclinic.org/news. MayoClinic.com (http://www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.

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Ginger Plumbo
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