In recognition of National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Marshall Medical Center wants to educate the public about this deadly disease.
The No. 1 cancer killer, more than 450 Americans die each day of lung cancer. It kills more people than breast, prostate, colon, liver, melanoma and kidney cancers combined. The main cause of 85 percent of lung cancer is smoking.
Though some people with early lung cancer have symptoms, most lung cancers do not cause any symptoms until it has spread too far to be cured. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:
• Cough that does not go away and gets worse over time
• Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
• Weight loss and loss of appetite
• Coughing up blood or rust-colored phlegm
• Swelling of the neck and face
• Shortness of breath
• Feeling tired or weak
• Recurring infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia
• New onset of wheezing
If you experience these symptoms see your physician. Early detection and diagnosis makes treatment more effective.
You can reduce the risk of developing lung cancer in several ways.
• Don’t smoke. If you do, get help to quit.
• Avoid secondhand smoke. There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure.
• Have your home tested for radon and take corrective actions if high levels are found.
• Follow health and safety guidelines in the workplace and avoid exposures to substances known to cause lung cancer, such as asbestos, arsenic, chloromethyl ethers, chromium, nickel, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Want to stop smoking? Marshall Medical Center offers smoking cessation programs. Call Community Health Education at (530) 626-2990. For more information call (530) 676-0777 or visit Marshallmedical.org.