Understanding Lung Cancer

The Facts on Lung Cancer

Risk Factors & Strategies to Reduce Your Risk

The following factors have been shown to increase your risk for Lung Cancer

Modifiable Factors: The following actions are controllable, and therefore should be avoided as consistently as possible. It is important to focus on these lifestyle choices in order to help offset the risk factors that are uncontrollable! 

Non-Modifiable Factors: The following cannot be changed. However, these factors are important to know so you can be cognizant of your lifestyle choices and understand the circumstances. 

Help Reduce Your Risk For Lung Cancer with these Choices

Are you at risk for lung cancer?

Symptoms & Early Detection


Early Symptoms 

  • Persistent cough or wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Regularly suffering from respiratory infections
  • Pain in the chest/lungs

Late-stage Symptoms

  • Coughing up blood
  • Weight Loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain that has spread beyond the lungs

These symptoms are not exclusive to early and later stage. The most important thing to look for is changes in how you are feeling health-wise. If they persist for longer periods of time (weeks/months), you should speak with your physician regarding these symptoms.

Early Detection

5-Year Survival Rate by Stage

Percent Diagnosed by Stage

The survival rate is extremely low when lung cancer is detected at late stages. Cancer developing to this stage is often preventable with proper screening.

Who Should be Screened?

  • Current or Former Smokers: Those that currently smoke or smoked within the last 15 years AND
  • Heavy Smokers: Have smoked the equivalent of 30 pack years AND
    • A pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, 3 packs a day for 10 years, etc.
  • 55-80 Years Old: Screenings are recommended during this age group for heavy current and former smokers
If you do not fit all of these criteria, but have concerns regarding your lung health, contact your physician to express you concern.

What to Expect at a Screening

Treatments for Lung Cancer

  • Surgery: Removal of the cancerous region of the lung and surrounding tissues. This may include a portion or a whole lung
  • Chemotherapy: Drugs designed to eliminate cancer cells
  • Radiation Therapy: Beams of high-energy to kill cancer cells
  • Targeted Therapy: Drugs approved for lung cancer treatment.
  • Immunotherapy: New research, leverages your immune system to attack cancer cells.

Nutrition and Cancer Prevention

Diet plays a major role in the development of cancer. The foods you eat can either promote cellular damage and increase your risk or protect your cells from damage and reduce your risk. An estimated 30% of cancers are believed to be related to poor dietary habits. (15)

We have compiled a list of foods that should be regularly included in your diet to promote optimal health, including cancer prevention. Learn what you can do to help reduce your risk.

Your Guide to Optimal Nutrition