Dr. Harshita Paripati, oncologist at Arizona Oncology, has a million reasons why you should quit smoking. Not the least of which is that lung cancer kills an estimated one million people worldwide every year. About 90 percent of lung cancer cases are smoking related.
Dr. Paripati treats lung cancer in Tempe where she is driven to educate the local community about the dangers and effects of smoking.
“By far, quitting smoking is the most important step a person can take to improve their health and quality of life,” Dr. Paripati said.
Quitting smoking at any age can lower the risk of lung cancer.
Resources include nicotine and tobacco cessation programs through local medical centers, the City of Phoenix, veteran’s programs, private companies, and the Arizona ASHLine at 1-800-556-6222.
In addition to smoking, lung cancer can develop through exposure to second-hand smoke and harmful chemicals like radon, asbestos, benzene, and uranium. Having a family history of lung cancer is another key risk factor.
Dr. Paripati knows first-hand that early diagnosis is critical to lung cancer survival.
“If you used to smoke or are currently smoking, talk to your doctor about screening,” Dr. Paripati said. “Early detection and screening coupled with appropriate treatment will improve your survival rate and quality of life, and early detection can also significantly reduce the cost of treatment.”
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), treatment costs for early-diagnosed patients are two to four times less than to treat those diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer.
Dr. Paripati emphasizes that recent advances in precision screening and treatments, including individualized medicine and immunotherapy, are prolonging and saving lives.
“There are also many promising clinical trials underway that advance our ability to defeat lung cancer and bring the latest therapies directly to patients in our community,” Dr. Paripati said.
Arizona Oncology currently has several lung cancer clinical trials underway.
Arizona Oncology is a member of The U.S. Oncology Network, one of the nation’s largest cancer treatment and research organizations that conduct clinical trials not available elsewhere.
Arizona Oncology is comprised of more than 60 practicing physicians devoted exclusively to providing comprehensive, compassionate and high-quality cancer care. For additional information, visit arizonaoncology.com.