Sherman Hemsley: Lung Cancer Superior Vena Cava Syndrome | BlackDoctor

    Sherman Hemsley & Lung Cancer: How Blacks Can Lower Their Risks

    Sherman Hemsley smiling at a press event wearing a black hat and black sweaterSherman Hemsley, the 74-year-old actor best known for his role as George Jefferson, died last month because of a complication of lung cancer, according to the El Paso County Texas Medical Examiner. Reports also say that Hemsley was advised to undergo chemotherapy treatments before he passed away.

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    Huffington Post reported that Hemsley’s death was specifically caused by a lung cancer complication called superior vena cava syndrome, which occurs when the superior vena cava, one of the body’s major veins, is obstructed, most commonly because of a lung cancer or non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

    READ: Sherman Hemsley Dies

    What Blacks Need To Know About Lung Cancer

    African American men are 1.3 times more likely to have new cases of lung cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white men. Is there any way to lower these risks?

    First, it’s important to know what can increase lung cancer risks, such as the following:

    • Asbestos
    • Exposure to cancer-causing chemicals such as uranium, beryllium, vinyl chloride, nickel chromates, coal products, mustard gas, chloromethyl ethers, gasoline, and diesel exhaust
    • Family history of lung cancer
    • High levels of air pollution
    • High levels of arsenic in drinking water
    • Radiation therapy to the lungs
    • Radon gas

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