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World Lung Cancer Day: Let’s Create Awareness

World Lung Cancer Day: Let’s Create the Awareness

 

Let’s take a few seconds to do a little exercise, it’s some sort of natural thus some of us think its automatic but let’s do it a little slower paying attention. Are you ready? Here we go…breath in, breathe out; breathe in, breathe out; breathe in, breathe out. How did that feel? Seamless right? Yeah, that is one of the main functions of our lungs, to take in oxygen (when we breathe in) and expel carbon dioxide (when we breathe out), while also filtering the air in the process to remove particles that are not needed. Now imagine having a condition or illness that alters that natural process making it difficult to breathe or even causes intense and on-going pain. One of such illnesses is what we present to you today, Lung Cancer.

 

Lung cancer is a type of cancer that has its origin in the lungs and the foremost cause of deaths from cancer globally. Lung cancer results in the damage or destruction of normal cells in the lungs and they begin to grow in an uncontrollable manner thus making breathing become a difficulty. Smoking remains the highest cause of deaths from lung cancer as smokers are 80-90% likely to develop this cancer when compared to non-smokers, although studies have revealed that non-smokers have the potential of developing lung cancer due to other factors like, family background and environmental factors.

 

The smoke from tobacco is researched by CDC to contain over 7000 chemicals, major of which are toxic and approximately 70 of them have the potential of causing cancer. It is alarming to discover also from research that various other cancers have their root causes from tobacco smoke like mouth, esophageal and pancreatic cancer, pointing to the fact that it needs to be avoided at all costs possible.

 

In commemoration of the world Lung Cancer Day, we bring you the risk factors for Lung Cancer and preventative measures to ensure your lungs stay healthy.

Risk Factors

  1. Smoking: With every cigarette smoked daily, increase an individual’s risk of lung cancer. Smokers have 15-30 times chances at the disease than non-smokers.
  2. Secondhand smoking exposure: Non-smokers who are constantly exposed to smoke from those who do are also at a risk.
  3. History of radiation therapy: Those who have had to undergo radiation therapy to the chest for any reason previously also have a heightened risk to get lung cancer as radiation has a way of distorting the normal structure of cells.
  4. Randon gas exposure: Randon is a gas that has become a gas we breathe because of the natural breakdown of the element uranium found in soil, rock and water. Exposure to unsafe levels found in buildings especially in homes can increase risk of lung cancer.
  5. Family history of lung cancer: Having a family member; a parent or sibling who has had lung cancer, is also considered a high-risk factor.
  6. Exposure to Asbestos and other carcinogens: People who work with dangerous substances like asbestos need to be cautious and take necessary precautions by wearing the right preventative equipment to avoid the buildup of these in the lungs.

 

Prevention

There’s no definite rule to follow in prevention but applying the following measures, greatly reduce your chances of being affected:

  1. Avoid smoking: If you’ve never done it before, don’t even think about it.
  2. Stop smoking: Talk to your doctor or a counselor to walk you through the process. We at HCI have professionals that can be of help to you too.
  3. Avoid secondhand smoke: Be conscious of your environment, avoid places like bars and restaurants that have great exposures.
  4. Eat healthy and take lots of water: This can never be over emphasized; they help you stay fit and build your immunity.
  5. Regular exercise: This has been known to help the lungs greatly. You can start out slowly and begin to build momentum.
  6. Take extra precautions at work.
  7. Test your home for radon.

 

Should in case you’re into the habit of smoking, it’s not late to stop, actually this is the right time to make a positive decision for the betterment of your lungs and overall health. Yes, quitting something that has become a habit is very difficult, but you can make it today.

Lung cancer kills, save your lungs and help others too through the information you’ve gained.

 

Do you have any questions? It’s an honor to attend to your questions and concerns. Let’s meet in the comment section.

Written By:
Rebecca Adeleke-Adesanmi,
BSc. Nur. MA, Healthcare Mgt

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