The Top Risk Factor Of Developing Lung Cancer

Comment 1 Denise, it’s a worrying fact how almost everyone identifies tobacco use as the top risk factor of developing lung cancer yet, WHO statistics show that tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year. More than 6 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 890 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. More still, surveys show that it’s not just smoking of tobacco that is credited with causing cancers but also use of chewing tobacco which is a smokeless use of tobacco and is a contributory cause of most jaw and oral cancers. Education about the associated risks of all tobacco products should be done not just smoking of tobacco. I am interested in what will happen when Marijuana is legalized at the federal level and therapeutic products can be manufactured without censure, Marijuana has shown some promise in providing relief from some of the debilitating symptoms related to cancer and chemotherapies. Comment 2 I was struck how much lack of funding there is for insured people who are diagnosed with cancer. According to The Institute of Medicine,  people and “families with no insurance pay a significantly higher amount for cancer care than the insured” (IOM, 2013). It makes one wonder, what will happen at the current rate if healthcare costs continue to skyrocket? Will uninsured patients who face a cancer diagnosis be wiped out from the financial burden? Will, worst case, they end up homeless not able to afford medical care and/or shelter? Unfortunately, I have seen many patients who are homeless and unfunded without major chronic illnesses, and I can’t imagine the added stress of facing a cancer diagnosis under those circumstances. If we improve public assistance and healthcare spending, perhaps the uninsured will receive more support from government-funded cancer care, prevention programs, and assistance once diagnosed.

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