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Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both men and women, killing more people than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer combined. No one deserves lung cancer.
This November—National Lung Cancer Awareness Month—the American Lung Association aims to increase public awareness of this deadly disease and encourage action to help prevent and treat it. Despite the fact that lung cancer is a major health burden, it remains largely overlooked as a national health priority.
For over 100 years, the American Lung Association has been a champion for people affected by lung disease. Today, the Lung Association enjoys high levels of awareness and trust from the public, and is well-regarded for basing its prevention, education and advocacy actions on proven science.
The causes of lung cancer include cigarette smoke, radon exposure, industrial exposures to hazardous materials like asbestos and arsenic; even some genetic factors pose a lung cancer risk.
Americans can take the following steps to help reduce their risk of lung cancer:
• If you are a smoker–stop smoking
Quitting smoking is the single most important thing smokers can do to enhance the length and quality of their lives. The American Lung Association has many programs to help smokers quit for good.
• If you don't smoke, don't start
Smoking causes lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and many other illnesses. When smoking is combined with another risk factor, such as radon exposure, the risk of lung cancer is even higher.
• Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke
Make your home smoke-free. You will not only protect yourself, but your family too. Learn about your rights to a smoke-free environment at work and in public places.
• Test your home for radon
One out of every 15 homes in the U.S. has a radon problem. You can test for radon with inexpensive, easy-to-use test kits sold at hardware stores.
• Be aware of industrial compounds
If you are exposed to dust and fumes at work, ask your health and safety advisor about how you are being protected.
• Help fight pollution
Contact local officials and work with others in your community to help clean up the air you and your family breathe.
Facing a lung cancer diagnosis is extremely difficult for patients and their loved ones, but the American Lung Association is committed to supporting them by offering the following services and resources:
• The Lung HelpLine (1-800-548-8252) provides one-on-one support from registered nurses and respiratory therapists to callers seeking information about lung cancer, as well as smoking cessation counseling.
• Resources available through the Lung Cancer Clinical Trial Call to Action provide personalized education to quickly identify trial options that match each patient’s specific diagnosis, stage and treatment history. The service aims to help lung cancer patients discuss with their doctor any clinical trials that may be appropriate for them.
• A free-of-charge, online caregiving coordination service called My Fighting for Air Community is a platform to organize support for patients and their loved ones who are affected by acute and chronic lung diseases. The community includes a group calendar for scheduling tasks such as meals delivery and rides, a platform for securely sharing vital medical, financial and legal information with designated family members, and customizable sections for posting photos, well wishes, blogs, journals and messages.
To take action against lung cancer and other lung diseases, join the American Lung Association’s Lung Action Network at www.lungaction.org.
To learn more about lung cancer, please visit http://www.lungusa.org/lung-disease/lung-cancer/.
Source: American Lung Association
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