Lung cancer is usually something you associated with smokers. The truth is that while lung cancer is more common in smokers, one in five women and one in ten men that are diagnosed with lung cancer, have never smoked. In addition, lung cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. It spreads quickly, so early recognition of the symptoms and a diagnosis is the key to long-term survival.
It is estimated that in the year 2006, over 79,000 case of lung cancer in women were reported. As far as long term diagnosis, the five year survival rate of lung cancer among women stands at about fifteen percent and over 73,000 women die every year of lung cancer. The good news is that there is advancing technology that helps doctors detect lung cancer earlier and there are medications that can help stop the formation and growth of new cancer.
If you are a non-smoker, you may never even give lung cancer a second thought. You might consider breast cancer and know how to perform self-examinations, however, you should think about lung cancer. There are symptoms that can help you identify when something is not right. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with your doctor and insist on lung cancer screening.
Coughing: If you are a non-smoker and suddenly develop a cough that increases in frequency or one that is very severe and last for more than two weeks, there is reason for concern. In addition, if this cough sounds like a smoker's cough or begins to produce sputum or contains blood, this is a symptom of lung cancer.
Pain: Along with the coughing, if you begin to develop chest pain or back pain that seems unrelated to severe coughing, you should see your doctor. These pains are best described as muscle aches that do not subside.
Hoarseness: Another symptom of lung cancer in a non-smoker is hoarseness when you are not sick with a cold or upper respiratory infection or wheezing that is not caused by allergies. This should tell you that something is not right.
Pneumonia: While pneumonia and bronchitis are relatively common illnesses, have repeated cases of these two can be a reason for concern.
Other common symptoms of late stage lung cancer includes being chronically tired, weight loss coupled with loss of appetite, muscle aches, headaches, memory loss, and swelling in the neck and head
If you have any of these symptoms and they are unrelated to another illness or injury, then you should consult your health care provider.
Now that you know the symptoms of lung cancer in non-smokers, the good news is that there are things that you can do to lessen your chances of developing this life-threatening illness.
Exercise: It is true that exercise is great for your body. It is also good for your health. Getting the proper amount of exercise can reduce your chances of developing lung cancer because your body is staying active and health. You do not have to participate in high intensity workouts, either. Go for a good long walk a few days a week or work out on a treadmill.
Eat Right: When you eat right, you are helping your body stay healthy and lean. In fact, there are repeated studies that show that eating five servings of fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits, berries and carrots everyday can reduce your lung cancer risk up to 41 percent in non-smoking women.
Eat Soy: Phytoestrogen, found in soy products may prevent cancer. Soy is rich in phytoestrogens. One serving of soy each day can reduce your lung cancer risk up to 44 percent. Try tofu, soy milk or soy nuts.
Stay away from smokers: While you can't always avoid cigarette smoke, you can do your best to avoid areas filled with smoke on a regular basis. Over 5,000 cases of lung cancer in non-smokers are caused by second hand smoke. Stay away from smoky nightclubs and out of the smoking areas of restaurants. If someone in your home smokes, try to encourage them to stop or ask them to smoke outside.