November is lung cancer awareness month

Nov 14, 2014, 5:40 AM | Updated: 5:40 am

PHOENIX — November is lung cancer awareness month and a Valley doctor wants people to know that it isn’t a disease that only affects people who smoke.

Smoking is only one cause of lung cancer, a disease that Dr. Panos Fidias at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix said was widespread and with little resource.

“It remains an underfunded disease for the 200,000 or more cases that will be diagnosed in the state this year,” he said.

Fidias said this month is part of a nationwide effort to help people learn more about the disease, which even though the number of cases is in decline, mortality rates for those diagnosed are still very high.

“The five year survival of lung cancer in general is about 15 percent,” Fidias said.

Raising awareness about the disease can not only help people become more attuned to its causes and symptoms, but can also help raise funding for research, according to Fidias.

“Nothing can be done without funding,” he said.

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November is lung cancer awareness month