November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and your Austin, TX emergency room would like to bring awareness on the many ways we can help improve our lung health. It all starts by knowing how to lower your risk and the symptoms. Remember, early detection is key to survival!
Symptoms of lung cancer
Lung cancer claims more lives every year than prostate, colon, ovarian, and breast cancers combined. Hence, it is essential to know its signs and symptoms. Keep in mind that it’s hard to detect lung cancer in its early stages, and people normally experience symptoms when the cancer is in its advanced stage. Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- A cough that doesn’t go away
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Losing weight without even trying
- Hoarseness in your voice
- Bone pain
Lower your risk
Those who smoke have the biggest risk of having lung cancer. If you smoke, it’s best to get help and quit now. If you need help, you can visit SmokeFree.Gov.
Smoking can cause cancer, and approximately 9 out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking. While there is no foolproof way to prevent lung cancer, there are some steps you can take to lower your risk.
- Test your home for radon. This is a gas that you cannot detect, since you cannot taste, see, or smell it. You can be exposed to it by simply breathing in radon that comes to gaps or cracks in your home or in buildings.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. Those who are exposed to secondhand smoke increases their risk of getting lung cancer by up to 30 percent.
- Exercise often.
- Avoid toxic chemicals or carcinogens.
- Eat a healthy diet rich with fruits and vegetables.
The United Stated Preventive Services Task Force recommends an annual cancer screening for those who:
- Are between 50 – 55 years of age.
- Have quit within the past fifteen years.
- Are currently smoking.
- Have a history of heavy smoking.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and keeping yourself informed with the latest news on screening, prevention, and the treatment advances in lung cancer are all essential to reducing your risk. If you wish to get involved in raising lung cancer awareness, visit Lung.Org.