Since 1995, November has been known as the month for acknowledging Lung Cancer. It began as a single day to help raise awareness, but then quickly swelled into an entire month. Education and information is what is most helpful for those who want to know how to stay healthy or combat a diagnosis of lung cancer.
Everyone has lungs, but not everyone takes care of theirs as they should. Smoking, eating unhealthy diets, as well as unaware of hereditary issues can all contribute to lung cancer and other diseases that affect breathing.
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What is Lung Cancer?
Similar to other cancers, lung cancer is a growth of abnormal cells, an uncontrollable growth located in the lungs. These damaged cells do not allow normal lung functions to occur, therefore healthy lung tissue does not survive. The lungs provide oxygen to all organs and blood cells, the entire body, via blood flow.
Highest Amount of Cancer
The American Cancer Society, is charged with tracking cancer trends and helping those diagnosed with cancer get the science-based facts and resources needed to navigate through this difficult time. They note that lung cancer is the second leading cancer, just behind skin cancer. However, lung cancer kills more people than prostate, breast, and colon cancers combined. This type of cancer affects both men and women nearly equally, regardless of other factors like race or smoking habits.
Not Just Smoking
One might think that smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer, and while it is high on the list of causes, it is not the only reason someone may be diagnosed with lung cancer. Many individuals who never smoked a cigarette in their life can be diagnosed with this deadly cancer. Secondhand smoke is a large factor in lung cancer. There are also environmental factors such as living near or working in a power plant, certain types of farms, and different kinds of mining industries.
Other environmental exposures include arsenic, asbestos, and radon, as well as other workplace toxins. Common air pollution can also become a factor in damaging lungs with cancer.
Eliminating Risk Factors
In order to help reduce your chances of getting lung cancer, you will need to quit smoking, or being around those who do smoke. There are many different ways and programs available for those individuals looking to quit smoking for good health.
If at all possible, leave a job that has environmental toxins as an issue. Although there are limited resources when it comes to workplace toxins, there are a few that can help. Wearing protective clothing as a mask that helps clear the air you are breathing is a start.
Living healthier life is another way to keep lung cancer away. By eating better, getting plenty of exercise, including something outdoors in the fresh air, as well as reducing stress, you can increase your chances of avoiding cancer in all parts of your body.
Of course, there is no guarantee you will not develop lung or other cancers, no matter how proactive and safe you are.