Lung Cancer Awareness Month

lung cancer

Considering Lung Cancer is the second most common adult cancer* the odds are that most people’s lives have been touched by this horrible disease at some point. A couple of years back, I wrote about my friend, Dianne, and how she fought Lung Cancer with a strength and resolve the likes of which I may never see again. I think about Dianne often. I miss her. True, it’s different now, almost three years after her death. But still, I miss her.

I could never really wrap my head around Dianne’s cancer because she was a healthy, lifelong athlete who had never smoked or lived with second-hand smoke. She had, for all intents and purposes, no risk factors. But all the same, she died at 42 of Lung Cancer after more than 3 years of tenacious fighting.

So today, in Dianne’s honor, I want to take a moment to share a little information about Lung Cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society:

  • 224,210 new cases of Lung Cancer will be diagnosed in the US this year.
  • Approximately 159,260 people will die from this disease in that same time.
  • More people die annually of Lung Cancer than die of Colon, Breast, and Prostate Cancers combined.

Those are some pretty scary numbers. And while we do not by any means know how to help prevent all forms of Lung Cancer, we do know that there are some ways to reduce your risk of developing certain forms of this disease.

medical ID tags

1. Just don’t smoke. The single largest risk factor for developing Lung Cancer is one we can all avoid: smoking. Smoking cigarettes, cigars, and/or inhaling second-hand smoke all contribute significantly to Lung Cancer risk. There is some research that indicates smoking marijuana may also increase your risk, but more studies are needed to determine this.

2. Be aware of environmental factors. Living in a home with high radon levels; being exposed to asbestos; living in an area with heavy air pollution; working around diesel exhaust, radioactive chemicals, or inhaled chemicals/minerals can all contribute to your risk. Be aware of your surroundings and protect yourself from exposure as much as possible.

3. Eat a healthy diet. Of course this is just a given for innumerable reasons, but one of those reasons is that a healthy diet does help reduce your risk of developing Lung Cancer.

4. Exercise. Once again, a bit of a given, but exercising really does make a difference in our daily lives and can help us avoid a variety of illnesses, including, in some cases, Lung Cancer.

Read more about how to lower your risk of some forms of Lung Cancer here.

*(skin cancer excluded)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *