As we continue our month of highlighting November awareness events, this week we discuss lung cancer, something you may know someone who has been impacted by. In fact, Lung.org acknowledges lung cancer as #1 cancer cause of death for women and men in the U.S. which only further emphasizes the importance of continued research of the disease.
Who’s at risk for lung cancer?
Lung cancer is commonly associated with smoking, meaning your best way to avoid lung cancer is to not start smoking or stop smoking if you are a current smoker. For help to stop smoking, visit smokefree.gov.
However, while smoking causes 9 out of 10 lung cancer cases according to the CDC, it is not the only way you can be at risk for lung cancer. Second-hand smoke can be a big issue, particularly for children of parents who smoke. Non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke on a regular basis have a 20% to 30% increased risk in receiving lung cancer.
Lastly, radon gas is considered to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and responsible for 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Radon gas comes from rocks and soil and creeps through cracks in the foundation of your home. It is recommended you test your home for Radon gas either by contacting a professional team or using an in-home testing kit.
Who should receive screening for lung cancer?
Because lung cancer screenings are done with a CT scan, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has specific recommendations for who should receive screening. You can learn more about the screening process here.
Screenings should be done for those that…
- Have a history of heavy smoking, and
- Smoke now or have quit within the past 15 years, and
- Are between 55 and 80 years old.
How can I get involved this month?
The Lung Cancer Foundation of America (LCFA) recommends a few ways to get involved this month: share information on lung cancer with those you care about, wear a white or pearl ribbon, or donate to lung cancer research. Fortunately, donating is as easy as shopping on Amazon! Through the Amazon Smile program, you are able to choose the LCFA as a charity at checkout and Amazon will donate 0.50% of your purchase to them!
To learn more about the fight against lung cancer, watch Lung.org’s biography videos on 30 inspirational lung cancer stories.