Lung Cancer Still Leading Cause of Cancer Deaths

Bismarck - Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, according to the CDC.
It accounts for over 480 thousand deaths in the country every year.
Emily Medalen spent some time with a man who is living with it right now.

Even though the number of cigarette smokers has been dropping since the 1990's, lung cancer is still the number 1 killer of every form of cancer.

I spoke with a specialist who said it can also be one of the most physically painful cancers to manage.
Symptoms are things like an unstoppable cough, getting pneumonia often, and vomiting blood.

The death rates of lung cancer have actually decreased by about 40% since the 1990s, but it still is the cause of almost 500 thousand deaths in the US every year.
Harold Neameyer was diagnosed earlier this year with lung cancer between stages 3 and 4, and is receiving regular chemotherapy.
He says he hasn't smoked since the 80s - but the 20 years that he did smoke, he wishes he could take back.
"It wasn't worth it. I smoked for 20 years... if you have the slightest inkling that you may be in trouble, go to the doctor," said Neameyer.

"This is a very serious disease. Again, smoking is not easy to quit, but the patient needs to understand the importance of screening tests. If you have a history of smoking for at least 30 years, then it is important to talk to their primary doctor about the screening test," said Dr; Kurniali, MD at Sanford Health.

Dr, Kurniali says if you're a smoker or someone who has been exposed to a significant amount of cigarette smoke, regular visits to the doctor are very important.

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