Lung and bronchus cancer is a serious problem globally and is one of the main causes of death of the population in many developed countries. The issue is especially relevant in the U. S., where many people, especially those with low socioeconomic status, suffer from this disease. Among the causes of cancer, smoking is the first to be distinguished, which is the reason for the vast majority of incidence cases. Moreover, the disease mainly affects adults and the elderly, and a minority lives for more than five years after diagnosis. However, a policy of restricting smoking in the U.S. and related measures can have a significant positive impact on the situation by 2065.
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Lung and bronchus cancer has been extremely common in the U.S. for many years. Lin et al. (2019) underline that “lung cancer is the top-ranking cause of cancer deaths worldwide, and the incidence has risen over the last three decades” (p. 1). Notably, this type of cancer leads to the largest number of incidents and deaths in developed countries, while in countries with a lower socio-demographic index, the problem is less urgent (Lin et al., 2019). According to statistics, only 20.5% of those affected by lung and bronchus cancer live more than five years after diagnosis (“Cancer stat facts,” n. d.). More than 228,000 new cases and over 135,000 condition-related deaths have been reported in 2020 (“Cancer stat facts,” n. d.). Thus, this type of cancer is the second most common among the population and the first in the number of fatal outcomes.
As the 20th century began, the primary cause of the disease was long-term tobacco use, although it was extremely rare. With the development of industrial production and the increase in cigarette consumption, mortality from lung and bronchial cancer began to rise. Gradually, smoking began to spread not only among men but also among women, and the average age of smokers was diminishing (Schabath & Cote, 2019). During the 1960s, tobacco use increased dramatically, enlarging the amount of attention payed to lung and bronchial cancer (Jeon et al., 2018). Therefore, the negative connection of smoking with cancer risk is apparent.
However, smoking is not the only concerning risk factor of cancer. The magnitude of the problem is even more significant given the fact that lung cancer deaths in the U.S. have been steadily declining since the 1990s (Schabath & Cote, 2019). This phenomenon is associated with the implementation of programs to restrict tobacco consumption, including bans on smoking, the introduction of excise taxes, media campaigns, and restricting access to tobacco products for young people (Jeon et al., 2018). It is noted that between 1975 and 2000, about 800,000 deaths from this type of cancer were prevented in the population aged 30 to 84 years (Jeon et al., 2018). According to the data, efforts to control tobacco from 1964 to 2012 helped to avoid 8 million deaths, but 17.7 million still died prematurely due to smoking (Jeon et al., 2018). Thus, it can be assumed that further restrictive measures will result in maintaining and increasing the level of decline in occurrence of lung and bronchial cancer and its mortality.
Description of the Event
Smoking significantly boosts the risk of developing this type of cancer. Although only 15% of smokers are affected by the disease, about 90% of diagnoses in the U.S. are associated with tobacco use (Schabath & Cote, 2019). The relative risk of lung and bronchial cancer increases 20 times with smoking and depends on the intensity of smoking (Schabath & Cote, 2019). However, existing calculations based on data analysis and modeling predict a significant decrease in cases and mortality rates associated with the disease in the period from 2015 to 2065 (Jeon et al., 2018). Thus, over the course of half a decade, due to a decrease in tobacco consumption, a decline in the incidence of the disease is expected.
Description of the Disease
As with any other type of cancer, lung and bronchial cancer develops as a result of uncontrolled cell division. For this type of cancer, the developing tumor is localized in the lungs and bronchi. However, it can be transported through the lymph nodes to other organs, including the brain (“What is lung cancer?” 2020). Lung and bronchial cancer is divided into two groups: small cell cancer (including oat cell cancer and combined small cell carcinoma) and non-small cell cancer (including several types) (“Cancer stat facts,” n. d.). Lung and bronchial cancer may appear as epidermoid carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma. Each of the types presented is distinguished by the cells in which division occurs. Early symptoms of the disease include coughing, wheezing, chest pain, coughing up blood and slugs, fatigue, and frequent manifestations of pneumonia or bronchitis.
Description of the Population at Risk or Affected by the Disease
There are several persistent patterns of incidence and development of lung and bronchial cancer in specific populations. First of all, women are less likely to be affected by the disease than men. However, the situation is expected to change by 2045, and the number of deaths among women will be higher than among men (Bade & Dela Cruz, 2020). Lung and bronchial cancer mostly occur in people over 75 years old, the median age of diagnosis is 70 years, and the median age of death is 72 years (Bade & Dela Cruz, 2020). The highest number of deaths occurs among African American men and the lowest among Hispanic women. In the U.S., low socioeconomic status is related to an increased risk of lung and bronchial cancer, as smoking is the most common. Risk factors for the disease include smoking, secondhand smoke, radon, and environmental and occupational exposure as well.
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