Are you among those that hear Lung cancer and instantly think of the smokers? Then, you must know that smokers though being more susceptible to getting this disease are not the only ones prone to it. Many people who have never touched tobacco/cigarette in their lives get diagnosed with Lung cancer yearly.
This November, we join the rest of the world to mark the Lung Cancer Awareness Month – a month dedicated to shedding light on the disease, encouraging victims and advising the general public on steps to take to avoid getting the disease. It is also a call to all and sundry to be watchful for the many symptoms of lung cancer with Lung Cancer being the second most common cancer in both men and women.
Symptoms of lung cancer can lay dormant for years in a person and only start manifesting as they get closer to their 50s… This is one of the reasons many smokers realize how damaged their lungs are when it is almost too late.
Some other risk factors for Lung Cancer are:
Second-hand Smoke: This is the smoke you inhale when you stay around someone that smokes. Your risk of Lung cancer increases when you spend reasonably more time around smokers.
Diesel Exhaust and Asbestos: Working for a long period of time in an environment where there is the emission of fumes, exhaust and asbestos can put you at risk of getting lung cancer.
The Gene Factor: Facts from www.cancer.org shows that a small percentage of people inherit DNA mutations from their parents that put them at a greater risk of developing certain types of cancers like lung cancer. This means that if a parent or grandparent was a chronic smoker who developed lung cancer, chances are that they can pass that down to their children or grandchildren.
Now that you know other factors that can bring about this disease, let us get down to the symptoms you need to watch out for.
Symptoms in the chest:
Persistent and intense coughing
Chest, shoulder or back pains unrelated to pain from coughing
Shortness of breath
Hoarseness of voice
Coughing up blood
Harsh sounds with each breath
Coughing up large volume of phlegm or mucus, especially when tinged with blood
Recurring lung problems like pneumonia or bronchitis.
Symptoms in other parts of the body:
Neck or facial swelling
Headaches, bone or joint pains
Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
Bone fractures unrelated to accidental injury
Neurological symptoms, such as unsteady gait or memory loss.
If you experience a combination of many of these symptoms especially if you smoke, you should see your doctor.
Bottom-line: Smokers should make efforts to quit smoking, while everyone should be conscious of the inhalation of toxic substances and fumes. Lung cancer is a killer that can be avoided if necessary steps are taken.