Lung Cancer Awareness

In 1995, a lung cancer awareness day was initiated to spread awareness about lung cancer among common masses. But steadily as the movement grew, the entire month of November came to be known as Lung Cancer Awareness Month. 

The medical fraternity takes this as an opportunity to create awareness about the probable causes and precautionary measures concerning lung cancer. 

Lung cancer is a serious matter of concern in India. India is the second largest consumer and third largest producer of tobacco in the world. Approximately 28.6% of the Indian population uses tobacco products. Unfortunately, the result is inflating tobacco-related cancers. Lung cancer is the most often diagnosed cancer and  accounts for 5.9% of all cancers.

Main causes of lung cancer

  • Cigarette smoking is the main cause of cancer. Even passive smoking can cause lung cancer.
  • Prolonged exposure to fuel wood and biomass burning, fuel adulteration, vehicle emission and traffic congestion increases lung cancer risk.
  • Exposure to certain forms of chemicals like asbestos or diesel exhaust. Radon, a radioactive gas can also lead to lung cancer. 
  • Particle pollutants  are a mixture of tiny solid and liquid particles that are emitted from chimney exhaust in the form of smoke. Studies reveal that inhaling this increases the risk of lung cancer.
  • Lung cancer also has genetic effects also. If there is a history of lung cancer in the family, then you may be at a probable risk of suffering from lung cancer. 

Early detection and Diagnosis of lung cancer

Lung cancer does not show any symptoms in the initial stages. The effects surface only upon later stages. By that time cancer cells have already spread and the effectiveness of the treatment reduces. Hence early detection is one of foremost steps towards effective healing. 

Symptoms of Lung cancer

  • Cough getting worse
  • Blood stains while coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling of lymph nodes
  • Breathlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Pain in the bones
  • Recurring lung infections like bronchitis or Pneumonia
  • Sweeping of lymph nodes

Reduce the Risk of Lung cancer 

  • The most important preventive step for lung cancer is ‘No smoking’. If you do then this is the time to Quit Smoking. Avoid being around smokers. Passive smoking is also fatal. 
  • Avoid naked exposure to harmful chemicals at work. Follow safety guidelines very thoroughly. Go for regular health checkups and do not neglect any minor sign or symptom. 
  • A healthy lifestyle can fight any infection very well. So eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly to reduce the risk of lung cancer. 

November, being the Lung Cancer Awareness Month marks the union of medical communities who join hands to support the affected and create awareness of this disease. It’s an initiative to be proactive to improve lung health. Healthy lungs ensure a healthy life. 

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