After you read this sentence, imagine the last time you had a horrible cold or the flu and struggled to breathe, coughed continuously and ached all over; then close your eyes, exhale and hold your breath for 30 to 45 seconds while continuing to remember.
Did you do it?
If so, you briefly experienced in a limited capacity three symptoms associated with lung cancer.
What Is Lung Cancer?
Any cancer that starts in the lungs is described as “lung cancer.” Beyond the symptoms mentioned, sufferers experience a wide range of severe and debilitating symptoms as the cancer spreads, such as bloody sputum, hoarseness, wheezing, chest pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, infections, skins changes, dizziness, headaches, seizures, bone pain and tumorous growths.
In the United States, Australia and many other countries, lung cancer has become the leading cause of cancer deaths across both sexes. Every year in some countries, it kills more than breast, ovarian, prostate and colon cancers… combined.
Types of Lung Cancer
If you have this cancer, you are usually dealing with one of two main general types: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer or Small Cell Lung Cancer.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, also known as NSCLC, is a blanket term used for cancers that are not small cells and spread slowly, such as adenocarcinoma, large cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. NSCLC is the most common type of this cancer. According to a 2011 report by Cancer Australia, NSCLCs make up approximately 60 percent of all cancers that start in the lungs in Australia.
Small Cell Lung Cancer, also known as SCLC, is a term used to describe cancers that appear as small cells. Although this type of cancer is not as common as NSCLC, approximately 12 percent of all lung cancers in Australia start as SCLC. Non-smokers rarely get this type of cancer. Instead, SCLCs almost always appear in heavy smokers.
Smoking and Risk
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that cancers kill about 8.2 million people each year. This number means that almost 13 percent of all deaths around the world are caused by cancer. Lung cancer makes up 1,370,000 of those deaths. Stomach cancer is the next highest at 736,000 followed by liver (695,000), colorectal (608,000), breast (458,000) and cervical (275,000) cancers.
According to Cancer Council Australia, cancers that start in the lungs cause the most cancer-related deaths in the country. There is a high mortality rate associated with it. In fact, the five year survival rate for patients is extremely low (less than 14 percent).
Although people exposed to asbestos or fine particulates, such as carpenters, plasterers, plumbers and electricians, can develop growths and cancers in their lungs, smokers and people who are exposed to second-hand smoke are taking the greatest risk. Studies have shown that many sufferers were smokers or lived around smokers at some point in their lives.
Your lungs are two sponge-like organs that absorb oxygen as you inhale and release carbon dioxide as you exhale. They also absorb cancer-causing toxins you inhale when smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs, joints and even e-cigarettes. Smokers inhale a horrible combination of these toxins. Old fashioned rolled or loose leaf smokers inhale about 69 substances known to cause cancer, including carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, pesticides, naphthalene, benzene, ammonia, acetone, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, lead and tar. Smoking e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, is dangerous because of solvents used to dissolve nicotine and flavorings that convert into to formaldehyde and other carcinogenic carbonyls.
Your risk of developing cancer in your lungs increases based on how long you have smoked and the number of cigarettes you have smoked over that period. If you are/were a smoker who has also been exposed to fine particulates, you are at even greater risk.
A Breath of Fresh Air
Cancer is like fire. It destroys everything in its path as it spreads. Yet, everyone knows that if you follow preventative measures, a fire is less likely to start. Even if a fire occurs, the preventative measures you take can often stop its spread. In homes where people ignore the risk, fire can kill. The same is true of lung cancer:
- People who quit smoking have a better chance of not getting it.
- Those who quit and still get it also have a better chance of surviving than those who get it and continue to inhale dozens of toxic substances.
The hypnotherapy services we offer in our office in Sunshine in Victoria have been proven to help many people in Melbourne and surrounding areas to stop smoking. Even if you have tried other measures and they did not work, we will do everything we can to help you to find the therapy that works best for you so that you can experience a better and healthier standard of living today and in the future.