Raising awareness about lung cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer (not counting skin cancer). In men, prostate cancer is most common, while in women breast cancer is more common.
Lung cancer is when the cells in your lungs grow out of control. It can begin in the lungs and spread to other parts of the body.
Lung cancer doesn’t always cause symptoms in its early stages. Many of the signs and symptoms can also be caused by other medical conditions but finding lung cancer early can mean that it’s easier to treat. So, if you notice any symptoms or changes, get them checked out by your primary care provider as soon as possible.
Symptoms of lung cancer may include:
- A persistent cough that doesn’t go away
- Coughing or spitting up blood
- Shortness of breath
- Hoarseness or wheezing
- Swelling in the neck and face
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss for no apparent reason
How can you reduce your risk of lung cancer?
There are many factors that can determine your risk of developing lung cancer. We have listed key ones below:
- Smoking. This is the number one cause of lung cancer. Your risk increases with the more cigarettes you smoke a day. Quitting reduces your risk of lung cancer, even if you’ve smoked for years. Talk to your doctor about strategies and aids that can help you to stop smoking.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. This is linked to causing lung cancer, seek to avoid areas where others smoke as much as possible.
- Exposure to radon, asbestos, or other carcinogens. Take precautions to protect yourself from exposure to toxic chemicals.
- Genetics. Your family history can assist in determining your risk for lung cancer.
- Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables. Choose a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Food sources of vitamins and nutrients are best.
- Exercise regularly. If you don’t exercise regularly, start out slowly. Try to get active most days of the week, even if only by walking.