Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Are you aware of the current state of lung cancer in America? Do you fear that you may have lung cancer, or do you think that you do not have a chance at getting lung cancer?
You may be at risk of getting lung cancer if you have been exposed to:
- Tobacco smoke: first or second hand
- Dioxins used in wars and battles, such as Agent Orange
- Industrial chemicals
- Unusually high beta-carotene
1. Radon: Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is present in many areas of our country. In particular, Radon could be present inside your home. You cannot smell Radon. It may be in the materials of your house. The EPA can help you find out if your home has radon – order a simple Radon test kit. Also from the EPA – if you find that you do have Radon gas in your home, contact a qualified Radon services professional right away to remove the source of the gas.
2. Asbestos: Exposure to asbestos at any time for any length of time can cause Mesothelioma, a highly deadly lung disease. When a company knows that it has had asbestos in its walls at any time, they are required to notify the people that worked there at that time. Most of the time, the company will order a free asbestosis test to determine if there is an asbestos scar on the lung. At that time, they will determine what the next step should be. In case of tumorous growth and cancer, there are a few very difficult treatments that are being tried in hospitals around the country. One of the newest treatments may be derived from the measles virus. There is also a new biomarker to make testing for mesothelioma easier for the patient. Previously, many tumors were not seen before open-chest surgery.
Mesothelioma is a horrible disease from which to suffer. Unfortunately, the law forbidding asbestos from the American market place was overturned 21 years ago. It is still possible for companies to use this toxic and deadly product, and expose people to it. For more information and to help, see curemeso.org.
3. Tobacco smoke: Most people know that tobacco smoke is dangerous to a person’s lung health. The deadly truth is that a smoker puts his or her family at risk every him they light up. There are 3000 cases of lung cancer due to second hand smoke every year.
4. Dioxins. Many military service members are at risk for lung cancer because of exposure to Agent Orange, kerosene, burning oil, and even possible uranium exposure. For help, see the Veterans’ Health Council.
5. Industrial Chemicals. We are exposed to industrial chemicals daily, especially those who live in proximity to industrial plants. Other chemicals that may not be considered quite so often could be chemicals used in the beauty industry or even in painting.
6. Unusually high beta-carotene. A recent study shows that people who are already at risk for lung cancer actually increase their risk if they take an additional beta carotene supplement. Therefore, if you are at risk, do not take extra vitamin A outside of your normal food intake.
The bottom line: We are not safe from lung cancer. Even non-smokers can have lung cancer.
Lung Cancer is a terrible and dangerous disease.
To help protect you and your family from lung cancer:
- Refrain from smoking
- Become more aware of the chemicals that surround you and your family
- Get your home tested for Radon
- Avoid exposure to unnecessary chemicals
If you are concerned about your health, or the health of someone in your family, or have further questions about lung cancer, please talk to your doctor.