August 1 is World Lung Cancer Day, So Show Your Lungs Some Love

The average person breathes in and out 22,000 per day. Twenty-two thousand times each day, your lungs complete a critical, life-sustaining function, and most of the time, it happens without you even noticing it. For this and so many reasons, every August 1, we celebrate World Lung Cancer Day. It is a time to reflect on the vital role of our lungs and commit to making the kind of lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk of lung cancer, an often preventable form of cancer. So this year, take a deep breath and give thanks for your ability to do so. If you are one of the millions of people struggling to quit smoking, talk to your doctor or contact the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Smoking Cessation program at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

The Truth About Lung Cancer

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that 38.5 percent of people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and contributes to the most cancer deaths. Fortunately, it is also among the most preventable.

Types of Lung Cancer

There are two primary forms of lung cancer:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This type of lung cancer represents 80 to 85 percent of lung cancers. NSCLC represents three subtypes of lung cancer with similar outlooks and treatment options. The subtypes include adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.
    • This form of lung cancer forms in the cells that would normally secrete mucus and other substances. It occurs mainly in current or former smokers. Fortunately, it is also most likely to be identified before it spreads to other parts of the body.
    • Squamous cell carcinoma. This subtype is often linked to a history of smoking and typically forms in the central part of the lungs.
    • Large cell carcinoma. This subtype can appear in any part of the lungs and can grow and spread rapidly.
  • Small cell lung cancer (SCLC). This type of lung cancer tends to grow and spread quicker than NSCLC. Unfortunately, in 70 percent of SCLC cases, the cancer will already have spread before a diagnosis is made.

Causes of Lung Cancer

The most significant risk factor for lung cancer is smoking. The length and frequency with which a person smokes can increase the risk of developing lung cancer. In addition, individuals who have never smoked but have been exposed to regular second-hand smoke or other toxins can be at risk of lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Symptoms

Most lung cancer symptoms are respiratory. The most common indicators include:

  • The development of a persistent cough
  • Coughing up small amounts of blood
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bone pain
  • Headache

How to Find Smoking Cessation Support

The most critical step that you can take to reduce your chance of developing lung cancer is to quit smoking or help those around you quit if you are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke. If you need to quit smoking but have struggled to quit in the past, talk to your doctor. They will be your greatest advocate and help identify the most effective treatment plan depending on your symptoms, history, other health complications, and lifestyle factors. If you’ve been waiting for a powerful impetus to take the first step toward a smoke-free lifestyle, look no further than World Lung Cancer Day. In honor of the 154,050 Americans who will lose their lives this year due to lung cancer, commit to getting help today.

August 1 is World Lung Cancer Day, So Show Your Lungs Some Love

The average person breathes in and out 22,000 per day. Twenty-two thousand times each day, your lungs complete a critical, life-sustaining function, and most of the time, it happens without you even noticing it. For this and so many reasons, every August 1, we celebrate World Lung Cancer Day. It is a time to reflect on the vital role of our lungs and commit to making the kind of lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk of lung cancer, an often preventable form of cancer. So this year, take a deep breath and give thanks for your ability to do so. If you are one of the millions of people struggling to quit smoking, talk to your doctor or contact the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Smoking Cessation program at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

The Truth About Lung Cancer

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that 38.5 percent of people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and contributes to the most cancer deaths. Fortunately, it is also among the most preventable.

Types of Lung Cancer

There are two primary forms of lung cancer:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This type of lung cancer represents 80 to 85 percent of lung cancers. NSCLC represents three subtypes of lung cancer with similar outlooks and treatment options. The subtypes include adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.
    • This form of lung cancer forms in the cells that would normally secrete mucus and other substances. It occurs mainly in current or former smokers. Fortunately, it is also most likely to be identified before it spreads to other parts of the body.
    • Squamous cell carcinoma. This subtype is often linked to a history of smoking and typically forms in the central part of the lungs.
    • Large cell carcinoma. This subtype can appear in any part of the lungs and can grow and spread rapidly.
  • Small cell lung cancer (SCLC). This type of lung cancer tends to grow and spread quicker than NSCLC. Unfortunately, in 70 percent of SCLC cases, the cancer will already have spread before a diagnosis is made.

Causes of Lung Cancer

The most significant risk factor for lung cancer is smoking. The length and frequency with which a person smokes can increase the risk of developing lung cancer. In addition, individuals who have never smoked but have been exposed to regular second-hand smoke or other toxins can be at risk of lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Symptoms

Most lung cancer symptoms are respiratory. The most common indicators include:

  • The development of a persistent cough
  • Coughing up small amounts of blood
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bone pain
  • Headache

How to Find Smoking Cessation Support

The most critical step that you can take to reduce your chance of developing lung cancer is to quit smoking or help those around you quit if you are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke. If you need to quit smoking but have struggled to quit in the past, talk to your doctor. They will be your greatest advocate and help identify the most effective treatment plan depending on your symptoms, history, other health complications, and lifestyle factors. If you’ve been waiting for a powerful impetus to take the first step toward a smoke-free lifestyle, look no further than World Lung Cancer Day. In honor of the 154,050 Americans who will lose their lives this year due to lung cancer, commit to getting help today.

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