Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, among both men and women. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a perfect time to be proactive and be aware. Know what to look for and how to help lower your risk.
Learn the symptoms
Lung cancer claims more lives each year than colon, prostate, ovarian and breast cancers combined. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms. However, early signs of lung cancer are not always detectable. Symptoms typically occur when the cancer is advanced and may include:
- A new cough that doesn't go away
- Changes in a chronic cough or "smoker's cough"
- Coughing up blood, even a small amount
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Hoarseness in your voice
- Losing weight without trying
- Bone pain
Help lower your risk
People who smoke have the greatest risk of lung cancer. Quit smoking to lower your risk greatly. There's no guaranteed way to prevent lung cancer, but here are some other steps you can take:
- Avoid secondhand smoke.
- Test your home for radon.
- Avoid carcinogens at work (e.g. toxic chemicals).
- Exercise often.
- Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Mayo Clinic