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Worldwide Lung Cancer Awareness

By Kasia Krawczyk

Since its establishment in 2012, World Lung Cancer Day has been observed every year on August 1 in order to raise awareness of lung cancer issues and enhance the need for more lung cancer research funding. Lung cancer is the United States’ leading cancer killer of both men and women. It is reported that smoking causes nearly 90% of lung cancer cases, and, unfortunately, over 70% of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage when survival rates are low. The symptoms of lung cancer to look out for are:

  • New cough that won’t go away

  • Wheezing

  • Coughing up blood

  • Shortness of breath

  • Losing weight

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fatigue

  • Hoarseness

Factors that can increase the risk of Lung Cancer can include smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, exposure to previous radiation therapy, exposure to radon gas, asbestos and other carcinogens, and family history of lung cancer. Prevention includes reducing your risk of exposure and adapting to a healthy lifestyle. If you smoke, quitting can greatly reduce your risk of lung cancer, even if you've smoked for years. Avoid areas of secondhand smoke inhalation, test your home for Radon, mask when using toxic chemicals at home and at work, increase physical activity and consume vitamin and nutrient rich foods.

Fortunately, there have been many improvements in medical technology over the last few decades that have improved survival rates for lung cancer patients. This includes precision medicine, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and even robotic-assisted bronchoscopy that aids in removing the cancer using a single surgery.

Overall, lung cancer awareness day is about adopting healthy habits, taking advantage of preventative lung cancer screenings, and joining the fight against lung cancer by sharing your knowledge on the issue and its cause.

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