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Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a time intended to educate the public about the causes and risk factors of the disease as well as promote screening and research funding. Mission Search is dedicated to spreading awareness of some of the nation’s most devastating conditions in an effort to encourage healthy lifestyle changes and promote research for cures!

Lung cancer accounts for 13% of all newly diagnosed cancers and is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancer combined. An estimated 9 out of 10 lung cancer cases are the result of smoking cigarettes, making lung cancer a relatively preventable condition through healthy lifestyle habits. 

Other causes and risk factors of lung cancer include:

Exposure to secondhand smoke: If someone close to you is a heavy smoker and you have inhaled secondhand smoke for an extended period, your chance for developing lung cancer increases. 

Exposure to radon gas: Radon is the natural gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. If you live, work or frequent an area with high levels of uranium, radon eventually makes its way into the air you breathe, increasing your risk for developing lung cancer. 

Exposure to asbestos: Workplace exposure to asbestos is common in older adults and leads to a specific type of lung cancer called mesothelioma

Diagnosing lung cancer in its early stages is challenging since most people may not have symptoms or their symptoms present themselves similarly to a cold. This causes most patients to ignore the more significant problem. Early symptoms may include:

  • Appetite loss
  • Hoarseness
  • Recurrent chest infections
  • Wheezing
  • Lingering cough that worsens with time

Lung cancer screening is essential for anyone between the ages of 45-80 with a history of heavy smoking. If you or a loved one fits the above description or relates to the above risk factors, it is important to discuss lung cancer screening with a trusted physician. 

The American Lung Association and The Lung Cancer Research Foundation provide funding for innovative research focused on the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of lung cancer. Please donate to these causes to help put an end to lung cancer suffering. 

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