Font Size
A
A
A

Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (cont.)

Prevention

Lung cancer remains a highly preventable disease because 85% of lung cancers occur in people who smoke or used to smoke. The best way to prevent lung cancer is not to smoke.

  • Cigarette smoking is highly addictive, and quitting often proves to be difficult. However, smoking rates have decreased recently in North America and in other parts of the world.
  • People who smoke who use a combination of supplemental nicotine, group therapy, and behavioral training show a significant drop in smoking rates.
  • People who smoke who use a sustained-release form of the antidepressant bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) have a much higher quitting rate than average and a higher abstinence rate after 1 year.

Screening for lung cancer

  • The American Cancer Society does not currently recommend routine chest X-ray screening for lung cancer. This means that many health insurance plans do not cover screening chest X-ray films.
  • Low-dose CT scans of the chest annually in those age 55 to 74 who have been smokers or continue to smoke - especially more than one pack a day for more than 30 years, or the equivalent, and have no history of lung cancer now appear to increase the detection of early-stage lun cancers in those screened. The testing is relatively expensive and debate continues on this subject.
  • People who smoke or used to smoke may want to have a periodic chest X-ray film anyway. They should discuss this with their health care providers.

Outlook

Overall, 14% of people with NSCLC survive for at least 5 years.

  • People who have stage I NSCLC and undergo surgery have a 70% chance of surviving 5 years.
  • People with extensive nonoperable NSCLC have an average survival duration of 9 months.

How well the person with NSCLC functions can have a strong effect on the survival duration. A person with small-cell lung cancer who functions well has an advantage over someone who cannot work or pursue normal activities.

Complications of NSCLC

  • Spinal cord compression
  • Bone pain
  • Hormone or electrolyte imbalances
  • Problems with mental functioning or concentration
  • Visual problems
  • Liver failure
  • Pain in right side from enlarged liver
  • Weight loss
  • Severe hemoptysis

Complications of chemotherapy

  • Unexplained fever (due to neutropenia or infection)
  • Bleeding (due to low platelet count)
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Kidney failure
  • Peripheral neuropathy (tingling, numbness, pain in extremities)
  • Hearing problems
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2014
Medical Author:
Coauthor:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:

Must Read Articles Related to Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Small-Cell Lung Cancer When cells of the lung start growing rapidly in an uncontrolled manner, the condition is called lung cancer. Lung cancer can affect any part of the lung. Lung c...learn more >>
Lung Cancer Medications
Understanding Lung Cancer Medications Medical therapy options for lung cancer include surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy. These treatments help decrease tumor growth and size. When tumor growth...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer:

Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer - Treatment

What treatment did you receive for non-small-cell lung cancer?

Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer - When to Seek Medical Care

What symptoms led you to seek medical care for your non-small-cell lung cancer?



NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell »

Worldwide, bronchogenic carcinoma is the most common cause of cancer death in both men and in women.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary