Lung cancer doesn’t only affect smokers. Find out if you’re at risk.
November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung cancer is the number one cancer that kills both men and women. Lung cancer forms in the lungs but can quickly spread to other parts of the body, making it one of the most difficult cancers to treat. Being educated about this disease may help you reduce your risk factors and protect yourself and loved ones from lung cancer.
Risk Factors for Lung Cancer
- Smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.
- Secondhand smoke exposure
- Radon gas, asbestos, ionizing radiation, coal dust, and cancer-causing substances in the home or workplace
- Chest radiation
- Chronic lung disease (emphysema or chronic bronchitis)
- Advanced age
- Personal or family history of lung cancer
- Taking beta-carotene supplements if you are a smoker
- Arsenic in well water
Lung Cancer Prevention
- Don’t smoke and quit now if you do (every cigarette you don’t smoke makes a difference in your health).
- Avoid all exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Test your home for radon and asbestos and take action to treat the problem if dangerous levels are found.
- Use safety equipment when working with hazardous materials in the workplace.
- Discuss the risks and benefits of medical X-rays and other types of radiation.
- Avoid exposure to air pollution and diesel exhaust.
- Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise will also keep your body in top shape and reduce your risk for illness.
Learn more about lung cancer in St. Petersburg General Hospital’s online health library. Know your risk factors and take action to prevent this deadly disease. The Cancer Care center at St. Petersburg General can help you determine your risk, diagnose the problem, and treat lung cancer in our accredited facility. If you have any questions or would like a physician referral, call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5122.