Being diagnosed with cancer is everyone’s worst nightmare. And there happen to be many myths surrounding this illness. Let’s explore some common myths doing the rounds on Lung cancer and get our facts right.
Myth # 1: There’s No Point In Quitting If You’ve Smoked For Years
When you quit smoking, your body starts changing and experiencing the benefits from day 1. Your body is able to circulate blood better, and your lungs are able to do their job more efficiently. Your lung cancer risk drops slowly over time and ten years from the time you quit, you actually lower your risk of contracting the disease by half.
Myth # 2: If You Already Have Lung Cancer, Why Quit?
Even after you’ve been diagnosed, you have a better chance of recovery if you quit smoking. Quitting increases the success rate of surgery, if you need to have one and makes the healing faster. In the absence of smoking the treatment is more effective and chances of your dying from other complications reduce drastically.
Myth # 3: Exercise Has No Impact On Your Risk
Many studies show that regular physical activity reduces the chances of your getting lung cancer. And not just this, exercise also improves lung function and helps keep other ailments like a stroke or heart disease at bay.
Myth # 4: Light Cigarettes Are Safer Than The Regular Ones
Light cigarettes are just as risky as the regular ones. In fact, the ones with menthol are more dangerous and addictive. People tend to inhale the menthol cigarettes more deeply because of the cooling sensation they give.
Myth # 5: Smoking Pot Is Okay
Spoking pot increases your lung cancer risk. People who usually smoke pot also smoke regular cigarettes. And research suggests that people who smoke both, become more vulnerable to getting lung cancer.
Myth # 6: Pipes and Cigars Are Safer
They aren’t safer, and in fact are capable of causing more harm. They put you at risk for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and lungs. Cigars especially increase your chances of getting heart and lung diseases.
Myth # 7: Lung Cancer Spreads With Surgery
Many people believe that if during surgery, lung cancer is exposed to the air, it will spread, and therefore surgery isn’t a great idea when you get lung cancer. This belief is totally baseless, and surgery for lung cancer, especially during early stages of the illness, gives you a good chance of a complete cure.
Myth # 8: You Can’t Lower Your Risk Of Getting Lung Cancer
By avoiding smoking, one can definitely lower their chance of developing lung cancer. A healthy diet and exercise also help lower the risk. Some environmental exposures such as radon can increase the risk and so can occupational exposures to certain chemicals.
Myth # 9: You Can Get Lung Cancer Only If You Smoke
This isn’t true and in fact most people who develop lung cancer are ex-smokers and 10% of people and 20% women who get lung cancer are non-smokers.
Myth # 10: Pollution Poses A Far Greater Risk Than Smoking
Exposure to air pollution especially diesel exhausts does pose a risk of lung cancer, but the risk is quite small when compared to the risk that smoking poses.
Myth # 11: Young People Can’t Have Lung Cancer
Lung cancer occurs more commonly among older people, but can affect young people and even children. In fact, a certain form of lung cancer called Bronchioloalveolar Cancer is increasingly getting diagnosed in younger non-smoking women.
Myth # 12: If You’re Too Old You Can’t Be Treated
Age alone doesn’t determine whether or not lung cancer can be treated. In fact, older people are able to tolerate chemotherapy just as well as their younger counterparts and experience a better quality of life after surgery.
Myth # 13: Being Diagnosed With Lung Cancer Means Sure Death
The survival rate for lung cancer is not very encouraging. And most people get diagnosed with the illness at a stage where a cure isn’t possible. Having said that, cancer is certainly treatable, if not curable. And treatment doesn’t just extend life, it helps manage the symptoms much better and improves the quality of life post diagnosis.