November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month
(Hardyston, NJ - November 1, 2015) Lung Cancer is a serious illness and is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States for both men and women. Please join the Sussex Warren Chronic Disease Coalition and the Sussex County Department of Environmental and Public Health Services to raise awareness about this disease during Lung Cancer Awareness Month throughout the month of November.
According to the American Lung Association, "lung cancer forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages." There are two main types of lung cancer; small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Smoking and/or long-term exposure to tobacco products is the most common cause linked with this type of cancer. However, genetics, substances in the environment, radiation to the chest, and diet may also be risk factors in developing lung cancer.
Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths among non-smokers, affecting 1 out of every 15 homes in the U.S. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is a decay product of uranium. It is colorless, odorless and can accumulate in enclosed places, such as homes or other buildings. Its presence can only be detected by testing specifically for radon because the gas is invisible and has no odor.
The survival rate of lung cancer is low, although it can be treated especially when it is detected early. Many cases can actually be prevented, especially in the case of radon. One difficulty associated with early diagnosis is that many people do not have any symptoms until the disease is in its later stages. Some symptoms of lung cancer may include:
- Cough that doesn't go away and gets worse over time
- Chronic cough or "smoker's cough"
- Constant chest pain
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Frequent lung infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia
- Coughing up blood
For more information about lung cancer, please visit the American Lung Association's website, at www.lung.org or the Sussex Warren Chronic Disease Coalition website at www.sussex.nj.us/sussexwarrencoalition.
For more information on radon, please contact the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Radon Section at 800-648-0394 or visit their website at www.njradon.org .