Did you know that Lung Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated every November? The month-long period is a time to raise critical awareness about the disease and turn the tide against it. Fundraising events for cancer research and sharing from lung cancer survivors are among the many activities organised as parts of the celebration.
What is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is a malignant lung tumour, characterised by uncontrolled cell growth in lung tissues referred to as cancer. Typically, lung cancer is asymptomatic in its early stages. The signs and symptoms typically occur when the disease is already in its advanced stages, and these include:
1. Persistent coughs
2. Coughing up blood, even a small amount
3. Shortness of breath
4. Chest pains
5. Hoarseness of voice
6. Weight loss
7. Bone pain
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer and is also known as the leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women worldwide. The most common cause of lung cancer is smoking cigarettes, although it can also occur in non-smokers.
The risk of lung cancer increases with the length of time and the number of cigarettes smoked. Quitting smoking as early as possible may reduce the chances of developing lung cancer.
Non-smokers or ‘’passive-smokers’’ who are exposed to cigarette smoke, are also at risk of developing lung cancer by 20% to 30%. Staying away from smoking and smokers, either at work or in your social environment, is the best prevention for lung cancer.
Another way to prevent this disease is by checking Radon levels in your surroundings, particularly your home or the place where you spend most of your time. Radon is an odourless radioactive gas that comes naturally from rocks and soil and can be dissolved in groundwater. Radon is thought to be the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Surprised by the last fact? It is now time for you to spread more awareness about lung cancer. We need a better understanding of the disease and its prevention. Let’s maximise this Lung Cancer Awareness Month by educating everyone regarding this disease.
If you believe that you may be at risk of lung cancer, please consult your doctor who can advise you for a possible screening. While early detection greatly improves your chances of successful treatment, it is not without its risks. SOURCESNovember is Lung Cancer Awareness Month | AACRLung Cancer Awareness Feature | CDC