In honor of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, our telemedicine services have put together a few helpful tips on how to prevent this disease and manage a healthy lifestyle. There are many causes of lung cancer, but one of the most common is also avoidable: smoking. Lung cancer kills more men and women than any other type of cancer. Another dire fact that that it’s rarely ever caught early.
For all these reasons and many more, Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November is extremely important, as it brings awareness to this potentially deadly disease. It also shows the critical need for lung cancer screening among certain individuals.
What can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones?
Who Should be Screened?
How exactly do you determine whether you should be screened? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, you should be screened if you have a 20 pack-year or more smoking history (smoked more than one pack a day over 20 years, or two packs a day over ten years); currently, smoke or quit smoking within the last 15 years; are between ages 50 and 80.
It is important to note that there are risks associated with lung cancer screening. As a result, you should only consider screening if you are at a high risk of developing lung cancer. Some people fear the idea of lung cancer screening, believing it can cause cancer. Talk to your doctor. S/he may only recommend it if you are older and have smoked for several years. Even if you don’t think you are at risk, and you’re a smoker, consult with your doctor.
How to Prevent Lung Cancer
Lung cancer may result in more deaths than any other cancer, but it is also the most preventable. Most individuals with this disease are also smokers, as a result, one of the best ways to prevent getting it is to quit smoking. Cigarettes contain hundreds of carcinogens, which are also known as substances that can cause cancer. Damage to the lungs occurs almost immediately. The body can often repair these initial damages, but excessive smoking can lead to irreparable damage that the body won’t be able to heal. Cancer may result over time.
Secondhand smoke can also cause lung cancer. This usually affects individuals who live with smokers or spend a lot of time with people who smoke. If you live with a smoker, ask them to quit. If they don’t, make sure that when they smoke, they do so outside.
Other ways to prevent lung cancer are:
- Testing your home for radon gas, especially if you live in an area where radon exposure is prevalent.
- Protect yourself at work if you are frequently in contact with harmful chemicals. Do this by following your employee’s instructions to the tee.
- Incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet. When consuming vitamins, try to get as much of them from natural sources as opposed to supplements.
- Exercise at least five days out of the week.
- Try to get at least eight hours of sleep. If you can’t, just remember that sleep quality is more important than quantity. Shoot for six hours at the minimum.
Other Ways to Stay Healthy
Diet, exercise, and sleep are the three pillars of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Changing your lifestyle is extremely impactful with this disease. For example, if you quit smoking, you are less likely to develop lung cancer. In addition to giving up smoking, try to reduce the amount of alcohol you consume. These changes won’t be easy, so ask your friends, family, and coworkers to join. You are more likely to achieve a healthy lifestyle with a supportive group by your side.
Talk to your oncologist and/or general practitioner before making any significant changes to your health, even if it’s for the better.
Call 4 Health
Our after-hours answering services is a top-rated complete communications BPO for healthcare facilities throughout the country. We can assist the medical staff at general hospitals, oncologists at facilities, or even oncology nutritionists in private practices. For telemedicine services, contact Call 4 Health. Call (855) 244-3258 to learn more about our services.