November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month
A significant portion (over 25%) of cancer deaths can be attributed to lung cancer. It’s a leading cause of death compared to other types of cancers combined: colon, breast, and prostate cancers. At North County Health Services, we aim to provide additional awareness about lung cancer and what can be done to help prevent it.
November is “Lung Cancer Awareness Month,” an effort created to help bring more awareness to this deadly disease and the efforts being done to combat it. At NCHS we want to support Lung Cancer Awareness Month and help our local communities become more aware of lung cancer and the treatment and prevention options available to them.
Leading Causes of Lung Cancer
In order to help reduce the statistic of lung cancer deaths, it helps if individuals know and understand what the leading causes of lung cancer are. In short, both radon and cigarette smoking are the leading causes of lung cancer in individuals.
Radon, a radioactive gas, is released during the normal decay of specific elements (e.g., uranium) which are found in the soil and various rocks. This radioactive gas can seep into homes through the ground and can even dissolve into groundwater. While radon typically only exists at low levels in the outdoors, areas that have any form of ventilation can increase the density of radon and contribute to increased risks of lung cancer.
Cigarette smoke on the other hand is the leading cause of lung cancer. While radon is a smaller risk by comparison, it is still the second leading cause of lung cancer. Whether you’re a smoker or you are inhaling smoke through secondhand smoking, you are at an increased risk of getting lung cancer. The best way to avoid lung cancer, in relation to smoking, is to quit smoking and/or avoid secondhand smoke at all costs.
Getting Involved & Combating Lung Cancer
There are many ways to get involved in Lung Cancer Awareness Month. From contacting local healthcare professionals to using social media, whether you’re an individual or a member of a larger organization, you can get involved in both small and large ways. The only way that Lung Cancer Awareness Month will have a significant impact is if each person makes an effort to get involved in any way that they can.
Check out just a few of the ways you can get involved in your own family, community, place of business, and more:
- Get a screening for lung cancer. If you have smoked for any extended period of time or have been around others who have smoked, it is beneficial to have a lung cancer screening to help rule out lung cancer or to identify warning signs in its earliest stages.
- Quit smoking. Quitting smoking may not always be easy, but there is help available in most communities. Contact us today at North County Health Services if you are a smoker and want to quit. Choosing to quit smoking is a powerful choice and we can help you make the choice permanent to reduce your chance of lung cancer and increase your longevity.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is common in gathering areas where smoking is permitted, typically in bars and similar establishments. Secondhand smoke is also common in homes where adults may be smoking, meaning that other adults or children in the household are at increased risk of lung cancer. If possible, avoid establishments where smoking is permitted, and encourage family members to quit smoking (or talk with someone if you feel you are at risk).
- Use radon systems. Radon systems are designed to help extract the radioactive gas, radon, from the air and siphon it out of the home. This is especially important in homes that have a basement, where radon has a higher chance of coalescing into high-risk areas.
- Use social media (#LCAM). You can get involved on your favorite social media by talking about lung cancer and the Lung Cancer Awareness Month by using #LCAM to bring together all of your social media posts into one location. This makes it easy for anyone getting involved in the project to find other people, facts, information, resources, and more, by searching the #LCAM
The best way to get involved with Lung Cancer Awareness Month is to contact us at North County Health Services. We can help you to determine your risk level with lung cancer or help you reduce your risk of getting lung cancer.