There’s only one cancer that claims more lives than that of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined: lung cancer. More Charles County residents die from lung cancer each year than any other cancer. In fact, the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that in 2016, there will be over 224,390 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the U.S. alone.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s important to take some time this month to learn more about this disease, its risk factors and treatment options.
You don’t have to be a smoker to develop lung cancer. Occupational and environmental hazards such as radon, asbestos and air pollutants have also been linked to lung cancer. And common symptoms of lung cancer, such as persistent cough, hoarseness, chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling of the neck and face, loss of appetite and fatigue, are often mistaken for other problems, which can delay diagnosis of this serious disease.
Though not all cancers are preventable, 87% of all lung cancer cases can be traced to tobacco use. This means that the best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is to quit — or never start — smoking tobacco and reduce your exposure to secondhand smoke. Below are some resources from the American Cancer Society.