Genetics also play a huge factor in determining a person’s risk for lung cancer. Though genetics are already a risk factor, air pollution is leading cause of cancer that increases this risk.
According to the American Cancer Society, people who have immediate family members that were diagnosed with lung cancer at a young age are at a higher danger, though it is not clear how much of the risk is due to genetics and how much is from shared household exposures.
Lung cancer can go undiagnosed for a long time. And since symptoms typically do not manifest early, it can result in late diagnosis.
Because there are fewer nerve endings in the lungs, the growth of a tumor in the lungs can often be painless.
Air Pollution is a Leading Cause of Cancer, such as Lung Cancer
Watch out for the following symptoms:
- a cough that does not go away or gets worse over time
- hoarseness in the voice
- constant chest pain
- shortness of breath or wheezing
- frequent lung infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia
- coughing up blood
In addition, since symptoms do not show until late, there are cases when the cancer has spread to the other parts of the body. This can manifest in other symptoms such as:
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
- bone pain or fractures
- blood clots
Lung cancer is diagnosed through a series of tests.
- Imaging or radiology tests detect the presence of cancer, to see how far it has spread, and to see whether the treatment is working.
- Endoscopy procedures, on the other hand, are when a doctor puts a tube-like instrument into the body to look inside. A typical endoscopy procedure for those having lung trouble is a bronchoscopy.
- Other times, doctors will require biopsy and cytology tests to better see the cancer cells.
Treatment is always available, and is done several ways, depending on the type of cancer and how far it has spread.
- Surgery is one option, where doctors will remove the affected area
- Chemotherapy shrinks or kills the cancer cells
- Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy rays to kill off the cancer
- Targeted therapy is when special medicines are given to block the growth and spread of cancer
Local environmental groups called on the Philippine government to take immediate steps to improve the quality of air in the country. Greenpeace Southeast Asia reported that toxic emissions cost Filipinos as much as 1.9% GDP loss and 27,000 premature deaths.
The group also suggested for the government to declare air pollution as a national issue. They also urged the government to update the Clean Air Act. This includes a transition plan for our industries to stop the use of coal energy and fossil fuels. According to the CEO of IQAir, Frank Hammes, “While the new coronavirus is dominating international headlines, a silent killer is contributing to nearly 7 million deaths a year: air pollution.”
Collective effort is needed to change the fact that air pollution is a leading cause of cancer. And we can always help make the community a better place to live and breathe in. Don’t smoke, and walk whenever you can to reduce the number of cars on the road.
Urge your local and national government to create ordinances that address air pollution. Lower your risk for lung cancer and stay indoors as much as possible, avoid secondhand smoke, and wear a mask when going outdoors. Remember, it is polluted outside, and you can never be too safe.