November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month
(Hardyston, NJ - November 1, 2017) Did you know that Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States for both men and women and the second most common cancer to be diagnosed? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 200,000 people in the United States are told they have lung cancer and more than 150,000 people die from this disease. To raise awareness about this illness, the Sussex Warren Chronic Disease Coalition and the Sussex County Division of Health want to invite all of Sussex County to observe Lung Cancer Awareness Month throughout 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 believed to be the most common cause of this type of cancer, with nearly 80% to 90% of cases linked to cigarette smoking. 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 treatment is likely to be effective when it is diagnosed at an earlier stage. Most lung cancers do not cause any symptoms until they have spread, although symptoms do occur in some people with early lung cancer. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:
- A cough that does not go away or gets worse
- Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm)
- Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or weak
- Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don't go away or keep coming back
- New onset of wheezing
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, or the CDC's website at www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung .
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 .