Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women each year in the United States. Despite that fact, lung cancer receives 3-7 times less federal research funding per death than other well-known cancers. While smoking increases your lung cancer risk, many people diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked. No matter the cause, people with lung cancer deserve the same attention and focus on new treatments and cures as other patients.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a good time to talk about the disease and consider screening. Some of the most common signs and symptoms linked to lung cancer include:
- A cough that won’t go away
- Coughing up blood
- Chest, back or shoulder pain
- Shortness of breath
- Being tired
- Weight loss
If you or someone you know has symptoms or may be at risk for lung cancer, talk with your health care provider about your concerns and to determine whether you are a good candidate for lung cancer screening.
There are a number of ways to help prevent lung cancer:
1) Quit or do not ever start using tobacco: If you smoke or use tobacco in any form, quit. As soon as you quit, your body begins to repair the damage done by smoking.
2) Avoid secondhand smoke: Make your home and car smoke-free. Encourage family, friends and co-workers to quit smoking.
3) Test your home for radon: Simple, inexpensive test kits are available at most home improvement stores.