No one deserves to bear the burden of lung cancer. This devastating disease is the single leading cancer killer of both men and women in the United States, yet it remains largely overlooked.
Approximately 373,489 Americans are living with lung cancer — nearly 20,000 in California alone – and more than 221,000 new cases were diagnosed nationally in 2011.
The causes of lung cancer include cigarette smoke, radon exposure, industrial exposures to hazardous materials like asbestos and arsenic. You can take the following steps to help minimize the risk of lung cancer:
- If you are a smoker–stop smoking. Quitting smoking is the single most important thing smokers can do to enhance the length and quality of their lives.
- If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Smoking causes lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and many other illnesses. When smoking is combined with another risk factor, such as radon exposure, the risk of lung cancer is even higher.
- Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. Make your home smoke-free. You will not only protect yourself, but your family too. Learn about your rights to a smoke-free environment at work and in public places.
In support of November’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the American Lung Association has produced No One Deserves Lung Cancer: Project Lung Cancer, a helpful booklet that provides lung cancer facts, support tools, prevention tips, and research updates.