The World Lung Cancer Day helps raise awareness about lung cancer and its global impact. This event is celebrated yearly on the 1st day of August.
The event mainly focuses on lung cancer, a disease that is regarded as one of the most common cancers in the world. In fact, every year, it claims more lives than colon, prostate, and breast cancers combined. The disease is estimated to account for nearly one in five cancer deaths globally. It is also responsible for about 14% percent of all new cancer cases. In Australia alone, the leading cause of death is lung cancer with an estimated 12,000 people diagnosed with the disease each year.
You can also do your part to support the global effort of defeating lung cancer. Here are some of the most important actions you can take in line with the recently concluded World Lung Cancer Day.
What You Can Do to Support World Lung Cancer Day
1. Spread Awareness about the Risk Factors of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women and anyone can be diagnosed with the disease. Though its prevalence is high, it helps to be aware of the factors that can increase your risk of developing lung cancer.
Listed below are the factors that increases the risk of developing lung cancer:
• Smoking – Your risk of getting lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes you smoke everyday together with the number of years you have smoked. The earlier you quit smoking, the higher the chance for you to lower your risk of acquiring lung cancer.
• Exposure to secondhand smoke – Unfortunately for non-smokers, you can still get lung cancer if you’re exposed to secondhand smoke.
Did You Know:
A person who is considered to have high risk of lung cancer are those between 55 to 74 years old and is a current smoker. You also increase your risk by smoking a pack every day.
• Exposure to radon gas – Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can become a part of the air you breathe because of the natural breakdown of uranium in soil and water.
• Exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens – One known cause of lung cancer is exposure to asbestos. You are most at risk if you work in the construction industry. However, keep in mind that there are also homes that are not free from asbestos. In fact, unsafe levels of asbestos can accumulate in any building, including your own home.
• Family history – This is the only risk factor of lung cancer you cannot control. If your family has a history of lung cancer before, it increases the risk of you developing the disease.
2. Beware of the Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer
Most lung cancers do not present any symptoms until it has spread and progressed. However, some people have early symptoms of the disease. This can vary depending on which part of the lung is affected.
Early detection is key to prevent the worsening of lung cancer. Know the signs and symptoms associated with the disease so you can take immediate actions to control and manage the condition. You’ll never know how you can save lives by knowing the early manifestations of lung cancer.
Here are the signs and symptoms of lung cancer you should watch out for:
• A cough that has persisted for 3 weeks
• A changed cough
• Coughing up blood
• Chest pain or shoulder pain that is often made worse by deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
• A hoarse voice
• Loss of weight and appetite
• Feeling tired or weak than usual
• Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia
• Shortness of breath
3. Learn About Lung Cancer Screening
A new cancer screening process is recommended for individuals who do not show any symptoms and have a high risk for lung cancer. A low-dose CT scan (LDCT) can help find abnormal areas in the lungs that might be cancer cells. LDCT also has the potential to dramatically improve lung cancer survival rates.
With recent advancements in lung cancer screening, early detection of the disease is easier. Therefore, the chances to save lives would also be higher.
4. Spread the Message About Lung Cancer
Several international organizations such as the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), the American Lung Association and The Ad Council, and Cancer 1Australia, partake in the World Lung Cancer Day every year.
You can do your own part in this important event by simply getting involved. Help raise awareness and spread the message about lung cancer.
You can support the global cause to defeat lung cancer by doing these important actions not only for World Lung Cancer Day, but also for the people who are at risk for suffering the disease.