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Think you're safe from lung cancer because you've never smoked? Think again.

While cigarette smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, it's possible to get the disease without ever lighting up.

"Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer," said Dr. Missak Haigentz Jr., chief of Thoracic and Head and Neck Medical Oncology at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick.

...

A new report offers hope on the lung cancer front: Patients are being diagnosed at an earlier stage in their disease and living longer due to better access to care, higher screening rates and improved treatments.

And that is driving overall cancer rates down, researchers discovered.

Still, lung cancer remai...

Cities worldwide are shrouded with air pollution -- and it’s killing people.

A new modeling study found that 86% of people living in cities throughout the world -- a total of 2.5 billion people -- are exposed to fine particulate matter at levels that exceed the World Health Organization’s 2005 guidelines.

In 2019, this urban air pollution led to 1.8 million excess deaths, acco...

For smokers, new research suggests it really is never too late to quit.

The study found that folks who kick their habit after a lung cancer diagnosis will likely live longer than those who continue lighting up.

Investigators from Italy concluded that lung cancer patients who stop smoking at or around the time of their diagnosis can look forward to survival times nearly a third (29%...

Many insured cancer patients still experience serious money problems linked to their illness, new research affirms.

For example, nearly 3 out of 4 insured patients with colon cancer have major financial hardship in the year after their diagnosis, which affects their social functioning and quality of life, according to

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 4, 2022
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  • Full Page
  • Cancer remains a major killer, with 10 million deaths reported worldwide in 2019.

    More than 23 million new cases were documented globally in 2019, according to researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

    By comparison, in 2010 there were 8.29 million cancer deaths worldwide and fewer than 19 million new cases. Deaths were nearly 21% higher in 2019 than 2010, and...

    Wolfgang Lehner always considered himself "a triple threat" when it came to cancer risk.

    One grandfather died of lung cancer in the 1970s. His other grandfather had his own bout with stomach cancer. And Lehner himself was a smoker.

    Although the New York City cinematographer quit smoking in 2010, at age 51, he never quit worrying about lung cancer.

    In 2017 his worst fear was r...

    New research offers fresh proof that the COVID-19 pandemic delayed cancer diagnoses in the United States, increasing patients' risk for poor outcomes.

    For the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 9 million patients at over 1,200 Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities.

    Procedures to diagnose cancer were used less often and there were fewer new cancer diagnoses in 2020 t...

    U.S. cancer clinical trial participants have become more diverse in makeup, but certain groups remain underrepresented, a new study finds.

    It's important to have a wide range of participants in clinical trials, to find out if treatments are safe and effective for people with different characteristics, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which has a number of initiatives to b...

    A fatal heart attack or stroke is often the first indication of heart disease in middle-aged smokers, according to a new study.

    It also found that heart disease is the leading complication among smokers when compared with deaths from other causes -- including lung cancer. In addition, smoking is associated with developing heart disease at a younger age and shortening a person's life by as...

    Lung cancer survival rates in the United States continue to rise, but certain racial groups are still hit hard by the disease, the American Lung Association reports.

    Its fourth annual "State of Lung Cancer" report shows that the average five-year survival rate increased from 14.5% to nearly 24%, but it remains at 20% for people of color overall, and 18% for Black Americans.

    "The rep...

    Mike Smith is beating the odds.

    Diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer back in 2016, the 56-year-old South Carolina resident says there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic as the "narrative of lung cancer changes from being a horrific, terminal disease to a chronic disease and, ultimately, to a cure."

    Still, he remains clear-eyed about the challenges he faces.

    "I'm at war," he s...

    High-dose radiation therapy may stall tumor growth in patients with advanced lung cancer who are not fully responding to drug therapies, a preliminary study suggests.

    The study involved patients whose lung cancer was considered "oligoprogressive." That means the cancer had spread to other sites in the body, and the patients were having a mixed response to standard systemic treatments — ...

    American cancer patients spent more than $21 billion on their care in 2019, a new report shows.

    That $21.09 billion included out-of-pocket costs of $16.22 billion and patient time costs of $4.87 billion. Patient time costs are the value of the time patients spend traveling for, waiting for and receiving care.

    "As the costs of cancer treatment continue to rise, greater attention to a...

    Smokers who kick the habit before age 45 can nearly eliminate their excess risk of dying from lung or other cancers, a new study estimates.

    It's well-established that after smokers quit, their risk of tobacco-related cancers drops substantially over time.

    Researchers said the new findings underscore the power of quitting as early as possible. Among more than 400,000 Americans they f...

    Persistent depression can significantly shorten lung cancer survival -- even if patients receive the latest cancer treatments, new research shows.

    "We need to help these patients, not only at diagnosis, but throughout treatment to take depressive symptoms out of the equation and let these impressive new therapies do their jobs," said lead author Barbara Anderson, a professor of psychology...

    Private insurers paid out about $156.2 billion in 2018 for U.S. patients with the 15 most common cancers.

    Medication was the largest expense and drugs for breast, lung, lymphoma and colon cancers accounted for the largest chunk of those costs, according to a Penn State College of Medicine study.

    "The public often hears that the U.S. spends an inordinate amount of money on health car...

    Just over a decade ago, the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) made many common cancer screenings free. But a pair of new studies caution that when those free tests turn up signs of trouble, important follow-up tests may be too pricey for some patients.

    The bigger concern: Some patients may forgo these expensive tests, even when they may prove lifesaving.

    "With t...

    Equal access to the most effective drugs helps eliminate the survival disparity between Black and white lung cancer patients in the United States, a new study shows.

    In general, Black lung cancer patients are more likely to die than white patients, but these findings suggest that barriers to care are the main cause of racial disparities in lung cancer survival rates, the researchers said....

    There's some encouraging news for people who develop lung cancer even though they've never smoked.

    Precision drugs already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can be used to treat 78% to 92% of their tumors, a new study reports. These precision drugs target specific mutations in tumors.

    Most never-smokers' lung tumors have so-called driver mutations, specific mistakes ...

    Roaring, fast-moving blazes. Choking smoke. Fiery tornados. Thunderstorms and lightning.

    The Dixie Fire -- now the single largest wildfire in California history -- continues to spread, having burned through more than 750 square miles of forest land north of Sacramento.

    The astonishing spread of smoke from the fire, causing discomfort and illness to people hundreds or thousands of mi...

    Significant fatigue at the start of cancer treatment is associated with a greater risk of severe side effects and shorter survival, a new study finds.

    Researchers analyzed data from four clinical trials of lung cancer or prostate cancer treatments that were conducted by the SWOG Cancer Research Network, a cancer clinical trials group funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

    The...

    Don't believe everything you read on social media about cancer and cancer treatment.

    A new study finds that one-third of the most popular articles on social media about treatment for common cancers contains misinformation -- and most of it can be downright dangerous.

    "The worst-case scenario is when it leads to a person declining proven cancer treatments in favor of a treatment tha...

    There's some encouraging news for U.S. teens and young adults with cancer.

    Survival rates have improved for several types of cancer, though gains have been limited for some common kinds, according to a long-term study published online July 26 in the journal Cancer.

    The researchers used a wealth of accumulated data "to piece together a larger part of the cancer survival st...

    A major U.S. hospital system had a strong rebound in most cancer screening tests after a steep drop-off in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study shows.

    The findings are based on an analysis of data from the Boston-based Mass General Brigham system. Depending on the type of test, between March and June of 2020, the number of cancer screenings dropped off between 65% a...

    Americans' overall death rate from cancer continues to fall -- but rising rates of certain cancers and ongoing racial disparities linger.

    Those are among the findings of an annual report to the nation from several major cancer organizations.

    The good news includes an accelerating decline in the overall cancer death rate, among both women and men, and across racial and ethnic groups....

    A newly approved lung cancer drug shows promise in improving survival in patients whose tumors carry a common and tough-to-treat genetic mutation, researchers say.

    Sotorasib - brand name Lumakras - was approved May 28 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a targeted therapy for non-small cell lung cancer patients with tumors that express the G12C mutation in the KRAS gene, ...

    Surgery soon after a diagnosis of early-stage lung cancer is crucial in reducing the risk of recurrence and death, a new study finds.

    "Patients with early-stage cancer have the best chance for survival," said senior author Dr. Varun Puri, a thoracic surgeon and professor of surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "That's why it's critical for patients to promptly...

    Mutations in a certain gene may increase a person's risk for an aggressive asbestos-related cancer called malignant mesothelioma, a new study claims.

    The gene is called LRRK2 and is involved in regulating responses in immune cells in the brain. Mesothelioma can affect the lungs, stomach or heart.

    The small study included 13 malignant mesothelioma patients who were exposed to asbesto...

    An immunotherapy drug is the first to significantly reduce the risk of cancer recurrence or death in people with early-stage lung cancer, researchers report.

    Atezolizumab reduced by 34% the risk of disease recurrence or death in a certain group of people with stage II to IIIA non-small cell lung cancer -- those whose tumors carry a protein that can help malignant cells evade detection by...

    Marc Baum went through all the usual steps to treat his bladder cancer -- a couple of surgeries, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, all in a three-month period.

    But doctors hope that an extra step -- an experimental vaccine -- will be what keeps Baum's cancer from coming back.

    A vaccine that uses genetics to teach a person's immune system how to precisely target the cancer has prov...

    At first glance, it appears that little will change between now and 2040 when it comes to the types of cancers that people develop and that kill them, a new forecast shows.

    Breast, melanoma, lung and colon cancers are expected to be the most common types of cancers in the United States, and patients die most often from lung, pancreatic, liver and colorectal cancers, according to the lates...

    A few years ago, Dr. Joseph Shrager, a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, noticed that lung cancer diagnoses were noticeably higher at age 65 than at slightly older or younger ages.

    "There was no reason rates should differ much between the ages of 63 and 65," Shrager said.

    He discussed this with his colleagues, who said they were seeing so...

    Obesity may shorten the lives of patients with certain types of cancers, but not others, a new research review concludes.

    The analysis, of more than 200 studies, found that across numerous cancers, obesity was linked to shorter survival. The list included breast, colon, prostate, uterine and pancreatic cancers.

    On the other hand, patients with lung, kidney or melanoma skin cancer al...

    Even small increases of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air pollution may cause an uptick in heart- and lung-related deaths, underscoring the need to tighten limits on this type of air pollution, Chinese researchers say.

    NO2 is produced by burning fuel for vehicles, power and industrial production. World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines recommend NO2 levels not exceed an annual ave...

    The number of Americans recommended for routine CT scans to spot lung cancer just got a lot bigger.

    People between the ages of 50 and 80 who don't have symptoms of lung cancer, but are at high risk for the disease due to their smoking history should have the annual screen to help detect the disease early, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concluded in new recommendations r...

    Fine particles in wildfire smoke pose a far greater threat to the lungs than similar particles in vehicle exhaust and other types of air pollution, researchers report.

    These fine particles -- called PM2.5 -- have a diameter about 1/20th the size of a human hair and can get into the respiratory tract, enter the bloodstream and damage key organs.

    PM2.5 is the main component of wildfir...

    Breast cancer has surpassed lung cancer as the world's most commonly diagnosed cancer.

    In 2020, there were an estimated 19.3 million new cancer cases and nearly 10 million cancer deaths worldwide, according to the Global Cancer Statistics 2020 report from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

    Overall, 1 in 5 people get cancer during t...

    Racial segregation may help explain why Black Americans with lung cancer do more poorly than their white counterparts, a new study suggests.

    For years, U.S. studies have documented racial disparities in lung cancer. Black Americans are less likely to receive surgery for early-stage lung cancer -- the standard of care -- and they typically die sooner.

    The reasons, however, are not fu...

    Here's one reason why past or current smoking may handicap you if you are battling breast cancer: New research suggests that nicotine promotes the spread of the disease to your lungs.

    Smoking is known to increase the risk that breast cancer will spread, which lowers the survival rate by one-third at diagnosis. But the role of nicotine in the spread of breast cancer to the lungs has been l...

    New research reveals an encouraging trend: Despite the rate of suicide rising overall for Americans, U.S. cancer patients are actually less likely now to take their own life than in the past.

    Researchers at the American Cancer Society (ACS) tracked national data on causes of death among Americans for the years 1999 through 2018. They found "a decreasing trend of cancer-related suicide du...

    As clinics closed for non-essential care and patients' COVID-19 fears kept them from check-ups, the United States saw a steep drop in cancer screenings and diagnoses during the first peak of the pandemic, a new report finds.

    Researchers analyzed data on how many patients underwent cancer screening tests -- procedures such as mammograms, colonoscopies, Pap tests, PSA blood tests for prosta...

    Improved lung cancer treatment is a major reason for the 31% decline in cancer death rates in the United States between 1991 and 2018, including a record 2.4% decrease from 2017 to 2018, the American Cancer Society says.

    How the COVID-19 pandemic will affect this downward trend is unknown, the society noted.

    "The impact of COVID-19 on cancer diagnoses and outcomes at the population ...

    WEDNESDAY, Jan. 6, 2021 -- In extremely rare instances, newborns can contract cancer from their pregnant moms during delivery, a new case report suggests.

    Two boys, a 23-month-old and a 6-year-old, developed lung cancers that proved an exact genetic match to cervical cancers within their mothers at the time of birth, Japanese researchers report.

    It appears that the boys breathed in ...

    Cancer survivors are at greater risk of developing another cancer and dying from it, a new study finds.

    These new cancers can result from a genetic predisposition, from treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy used to fight the first cancer, as well as from unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking and obesity, according to researchers from the American Cancer Society.

    Some of these...

    When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, many routine cancer screenings were put on hold. Now a new study suggests that lung cancer screenings have yet to rebound.

    The findings come from one hospital system, but experts said they add to worries about the pandemic's impact on cancer care.

    In the spring, when many U.S. hospitals were overrun with COVID-19 patients and stay-at...

    Nearly 15% of talc-based cosmetic products analyzed in a recent study contained asbestos.

    Environmental Working Group (EWG) -- an American advocacy nonprofit that commissioned the tests and did the analysis -- said methods used by the cosmetics industry to screen talc supplies are inadequate. The voluntary testing method developed by industry is not sensitive enough to screen for asbestos...

    Women have higher survival rates after lung cancer surgery than men, according to a new study.

    Previous research on sex differences in survival after lung cancer treatment has yielded conflicting results, so researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden decided to study the association between gender and survival after lung cancer surgery.

    "The health care sector is always striv...

    Social and financial struggles are common among Black American cancer survivors and take a heavy toll on their health-related quality of life, according to a new study.

    Health-related quality of life among cancer survivors -- how a person perceives their mental, physical and social well-being -- tends to be significantly lower among Black Americans than in other groups.

    In this stud...

    Lung cancer patients who harbor certain bacteria in the airways may have a poorer prognosis, a new study finds, adding to evidence that the body's "microbiome" may play a role in cancer patients' outlook.

    The microbiome refers to the trillions of bacteria and other microbes that naturally dwell in the body. Research in recent years has been revealing how important those bugs are to the bo...