Here’s to honoring World Lung Cancer Day! August 1 commemorates recognizing lung cancer patients and displaying awareness for the causes, symptoms and possible preventive measures for lung cancer. As you read through this, it is not meant to scare you, but add a higher level of awareness for lung cancer and actions you can take to stay healthy. You can find more information and history about this month from the Lung Cancer Foundation’s website.

Unfortunately, more people die from this type of cancer than any other kind. It does affect smokers and nonsmokers alike because exposure to radon, radiation, pollution, secondhand smoke, asbestos, and lung disease can act as a cause for lung cancer as well as for those who use tobacco products. Smoking does happen to be the leading factor for lung cancer diagnosis and accounts for almost 90% of all cases since a smoker is at risk 30 times greater than a nonsmoker.

In addition to being aware of these possible causes, you can be aware of the symptoms to catch lung cancer early and have the best chance of survival! The most common symptom is a persistent cough, but others include constant chest pain, blood-tinged spit, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, repeat occurrences of pneumonia or bronchitis, fever, neck or face swelling, fatigue, or weight loss due to decrease in appetite.

As more studies and research have been conducted for causes and prevention of lung cancer, doctors are still creating those lists. A constant in all the research is that smoking remains the leading cause and not smoking or quitting at any age is the number one preventative measure to take to lower your risk.

I hope this allows you to be more aware and responsible moving forward in your daily life!