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The National Cancer Institute estimates that more than 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, with more people dying of the disease than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined.
Dr. Martin Edelman, director of medical thoracic oncology at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center and professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, says that smoking is a major risk factor for developing lung cancer. But, as he tells Karen Warmkessel, about 10 percent of people diagnosed with the disease have never smoked.
Dr. Edelman says that patients with lung cancer are treated with chemotherapy, radiation and surgery or a combination of therapies, some offered through clinical trials. Staging the cancer - determining where it's located and whether it's spread - is key to developing the most effective treatment plan, he says.
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