Myths about lung cancer

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Sharon Rutka got the diagnosis after a routine chest X-ray.

"The nurse said they found a spot on my lungs," said Rutka.

That spot was lung cancer.

"I mean, I was worried. I don't have time for this."

Luckily, Rutka's cancer was caught early. One big myth about lung cancer is that if you have it, you'll die within a few months.

"If you find it early, 80 percent of lung cancers can be cured," said MD Specialist Raja Flores.

The problem is lung cancer is often caught too late, which leads to another myth, that there are no symptoms. Doctors say there are signs to watch for: a cough that doesn't go away, chest pain, weight loss, coughing up blood, or infections like bronchitis or pneumonia that keep coming back. Another false belief, only smokers get lung cancer.

"Everyone automatically assumes smoking, lung cancer, but no, there's a good number that can have cancers that have never smoked."

While smoking does increase your risk, more than 40,000 cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year in non-smokers. The last myth, quitting smoking won't help. It's not true! 10 years after quitting the habit, your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who still smokes.
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