Happy November! Did you know that this is the month to spread awareness about lung cancer? No matter if you or someone you know has been diagnosed, or if you are just learning about this deadly disease today, now is the perfect time to raise our voices and speak out on behalf of those affected.
Lung cancer is a disease that first develops in the lungs. Abnormal cell development within the lungs can lead to a malignant tumor, destroying healthy lung tissue and preventing the body’s organs from functioning. This disease accounts for 1.3 million deaths each year, making it the deadliest out of all of the cancers in existence for American men and women.
Although lung cancer is prevalent, it is also hard to diagnose. Symptoms are often hard to spot until the cancer is fully developed and migrates to another organ in the body. We are continuing to see a steady rise in lung cancer diagnosis, so spreading awareness is just one key for prevention.
Another key for prevention is understanding where the disease originates. Yes, some individuals’ genetics are prone to abnormal cell development, but there are also precautions you can take everyday.
Smoking cigarettes greatly increases the risk of contracting lung cancer. It has long been a myth that lung cancer is solely a “smokers’ disease.” While this is not entirely true, it is easy to see why people thought this way for decades. Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer, but smoking can increase the risk by ten to twenty-three times!
Being exposed to toxic substances within our environment is another contributing factor to the development of lung cancer. Known carcinogens like asbestos and other hazardous chemicals are sure to increase the risk of abnormal cell development within the lungs. Many U.S. occupations over the years have been considered to be at high-risk for exposure to toxic substances like asbestos. Speak with your doctor if you are aware of any exposure throughout your lifetime. This will encourage them to keep your lung health in check.