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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Release Date: November 01, 2018
Lung Cancer is a serious illness and is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States for both men and women.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

The Sussex County Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health and the Sussex Warren Chronic Disease Coalition want to invite all of Sussex County to observe Lung Cancer Awareness Month throughout November. 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that more than 150,000 people die from this disease each year.

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.

The second leading cause of lung cancer deaths among non-smokers is radon exposure, affecting one out of every fifteen 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
  • Hoarseness
  • 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 external link, the CDC's website at arrow icon, or the Sussex Warren Chronic Disease Coalition website at

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 external link.