Lung cancer has consistently been the greatest cause of cancer deaths. Though lung cancer is typically the second most frequent cancer (behind prostate cancer for men and breast cancer for women) in terms of cases diagnosed, it tops the list for cancer deaths. In fact, in 2005 lung cancer led to more cancer deaths than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined [Source: CDC]. The major issue behind lung cancer is cigarette use. Priority must be given to anything that can help decrease the rate of this much too common cancer.
Cigarette use has a negative effect on many different parts of the body. The lungs take an enormous brunt of the damage, leading to higher risks of both lung cancer and emphysema. Both of these conditions take a tremendous toll on the body and are very difficult to treat. It is never too late to quit smoking; however, the earlier one can quit, the better the chances of regaining normal lung function. Cutting out cigarettes will help decrease the risk of heart disease as well as many types of other cancers such as cervical, bladder and kidney cancers. Unfortunately, you do not need to be a smoker to suffer from lung cancer. Heavy exposure to secondhand smoke is enough to harm the lung tissue. Smoking cessation is a must to stay healthy and decrease cancer risk.
Two other measures that help prevent cancer, including lung cancer, are high fruit and vegetable intake and vitamin D. Whether for a smoker or nonsmoker, higher intakes of fruits and vegetables will help protect against lung cancer [Source: Galeone, Linseisen]. Smoking and a poor diet are double trouble in affecting cancer formation. Vitamin D also has significant support behind its importance in preventing lung cancer. Vitamin D may impact lung cancer in areas of prevention, treatment and survival after treatment. Vitamin D has had a notable effect in preventing lung cancer in women and younger individuals [Source: Kilkkinen]. It is also interesting to note that individuals who were treated surgically for lung cancer and in taking vitamin D had better survival times without the recurrence of cancer than those lacking vitamin D [Source: Zhou]. This stresses the importance of vitamin D, particularly in healing the body after surgery. If surgery is done in the winter months, or if a patient just can not get frequent sunshine outside, vitamin D supplementation should strongly be considered. Vitamin D is very safe and extremely cost-effective. It is easy to implement with any cancer program.
Lung cancer can be a very difficult cancer to treat for several reasons. The body is often very weak from a long history of smoking. The lungs and chest muscles require much energy to perform their duties of breathing and coughing, and the body may have a hard time keeping up its energy requirements after surgery or chemotherapy. That being said, many cases are treatable and nutritional approaches may help a patient keep the body in better shape during cancer treatments. One additional treatment for cancer that should be considered is intravenous vitamin C. Vitamin C given intravenously is now being used in a wide variety of cancers. Researchers believe that these high doses of vitamin C are actually toxic to the cancer cells but do not seem to bother our healthy cells. The beauty of intravenous vitamin C is that it is typically very well-tolerated and can be used along side traditional cancer treatment options. To find a physician using this therapy, contact the American College for the Advancement of Medicine or the University of Kansas Medical Center where Dr. Jeanne Drisko has headed significant use and research of IV vitamin C in the treatment of cancer.