World Lung Cancer Day is observed annually on Aug. 1. An effort started by a lung cancer survivor, this health observance is meant to spread awareness of the impact of lung cancer and to celebrate survivors and remember those who have passed.
Lung cancer is the most common worldwide cause of death from cancer and has been for more than a decade. It claims more lives that breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined each year. Lung cancer is responsible for almost one in five cancer deaths.
While smoking is a well-known risk factor for lung cancer, there are lesser knows risks that are just as important. Other risk factors include radiation exposure, diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and tuberculosis, a history of cancer in other areas of the body, and exposure to things like radon, asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, and uranium.
Recognizing symptoms of lung cancer is crucial for early detection and life-saving treatment. Early signs of lung cancer include a cough that lasts for weeks, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, chest pain, hoarseness, pain in bones, and unintentional weight loss.
If you have questions about lung cancer or think you may be a candidate for a lung cancer screening, ask your primary health care provider.