Lung cancer awareness month is marked from the 1st of November to the 30th of November every year. A life threatening disease, lung cancer is still not taken seriously by the masses. This was apparent from the fact that despite repeated warnings and counseling, youngsters are still addicted to cigarettes. The lung cancer awareness month is an attempt to educate the general population about lung cancer. In the United States the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has given its support to this cause.
The leading cause of death in the United States is lung cancer, with millions of people succumbing to this disease every year. As per Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, there are many other factors that can cause this disease besides smoking. This calls for an urgent need to spread awareness among the masses and initiate and encourage research on the causes and etiology of this disease. In fact ADAO believes that there should be a thorough research to evaluate the risk factors that lead to lung disease of any kind.
Despite the fact that people are aware of this disease being the most fatal in the United States, little is known about the causes leading to it. People believe that only smoking leads to lung cancer though this is not the case as lung cancer is not just a smoker’s disease. Some of the other causes of lung cancer are
- Passive smoking- Though some people may not be habituated to smoking, but even inhaling the smoke of other smokers (second hand smoking) can be dangerous in the long run. In fact, pregnant women who have smoking partners give birth to children who are born with defects. These defects are similar to the ones seen in the babies smoking mothers. In the United States 3,000 lung cancer deaths occur each year due to passive smoking.
- Air pollution- The gas and fumes emitted from the vehicles, factories and other sources increase the risk of suffering from lung cancer. As per studies, the harm incurred by the lungs from prolonged inhalation of polluted air is the same as that of passive smoking.
- Asbestos exposure- Inhalation of asbestos increases the chances of lung cancer by nine times. If this is coupled with smoking, then the risk increases by 50 times.
- Lung diseases- Lung diseases such as tuberculosis and COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) also add to the risk factors. People with a history of COPD have 6 times more chances of contracting lung cancer than people who don’t.
- Exposure to radiations- Radiations in any form such as radium or uranium can lead to cancer.
Some of the major issues that will be tackled this month are
- Education- Educating the public about spreading awareness and educating them on health risks and issues.
- Promotions- There will be health promotion events and campaigns that will help spread the message to the masses.
- Resources- This month, there will be special efforts made to get fresh ideas, information and also resources on the health topics of interest