Have you ever been blindsided by the consequences of strolling into a situation unknowingly or unprepared? People will often think back on these events later and lament on what they would have done differently had they been armed with the right knowledge. Lung cancer is no different. Anybody could be traipsing through their life, carelessly imbibing in actions that may blindside them later with negative consequences that could have been avoided had they known better. That is why we have designated November, as a month of reflection. A month of speaking up and creating awareness about this illness, so that those who are on the slippery slope can have access to more knowledge about their actions, and maybe, just maybe change the route they are traveling.
According to cancer.org, Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women (not counting skin cancer) and is the top cause of cancer death in both sexes. Each year that passes proves this statement factual, as more people have fatal encounters with the disease than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. The sad part about this information is that most of the time, the disease can be prevented. This is said because one of the most common causes is directly related to smoking, or much less common, exposure to negative chemicals such as radon or other environmental factors.
Cancer.org further goes on to state that usually when the illness is found, it will be at a far advanced stage that can prove fatal. Doctors have determined that a test can be utilized to search for lung cancer in those who are at high risk, enabling the disease to be caught early enough for something to be done.
Knowing what the risks are and what to look for is imperative to immobilizing the spread of this illness, and ensuring that those affected receive proper care and treatment. Cancer.org listed some of the top perils that will put a person at risk:
- Tobacco Smoke – Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner folks. Smoking tobacco is one of the largest contributors to this disease. It is said that 80 percent of lung cancer deaths are thought to result from smoking. Don’t smoke? Secondhand smoke is also a huge cause of it, and has been thought to cause over 7,000 deaths each year.
- Exposure to harmful chemicals – Radon, Asbestos, Arsenic, radiation and air pollution, to name a few, have all been associated with greater encounters with the disease.
- Family History – If it is in your history, then you are at a higher risk, and therefore should be even more cautious.
Webmd.com states that lung cancer generally has no symptoms in its beginning stages, and this makes it that much harder to detect and catch before it’s too late. Here are some symptoms they have mapped out so that we can know what to look for:
- Chronic, hacking, raspy coughing, sometimes with mucus that has blood in it
- Changes in a cough that you’ve had for a long time
- Respiratory infections that keep coming back, including bronchitis or pneumonia
- Shortness of breath that does not improve
- Chronic chest pain
- Swelling of the neck and face
- Pain and weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand
- Fatigue, weakness, loss of weight and appetite, fever that comes and goes, severe headaches, and body pain
- Issues swallowing
Creating awareness on the severity of lung cancer can achieve many great things, some of which include: advancing research on the illness and empowering those living with and at risk for the disease. Lungcanceralliane.org has several options that those concerned can employ to help spread the word, and in turn, help to save a life. Helping advance community events, speaking up, and donating to the cause are all vital in arming a person with life-saving knowledge, and giving countless others a chance to prepare themselves and live the best lives that they can against this disease