Each November Americans observe Lung Cancer Awareness Month to draw attention to one of the deadliest and most frequently diagnosed forms of cancer. Although smokers are among its most likely victims, even non-smokers can be diagnosed with lung cancer, especially those who are exposed to toxic environments or who have a predisposition toward cancer in their families. Because of this, it is good for people who are at risk to have a yearly reminder to get screened and pay attention to any symptoms, like unusual coughing.
The best way to prevent lung cancer is for those who are smokers to stop smoking and receive regular cancer screenings, especially if they are 50 years of age or older. After this, if possible, it can also be helpful to reduce environmental toxins, such as fumes from exhaust or chemicals. Those who regularly inhale such fumes should consider wearing an appropriate mask to protect them against harmful particulate. Screening tools are also available online to help determine relative cancer risk.
For those who have lost a friend or family member to lung cancer, Lung Cancer Awareness Month is a great time to remember them and to engage in charitable or awareness-oriented events in their name. Choosing to make a donation to lung cancer research is one of the most obvious ways to do this. Many reputable research funds exist for doing just that! The Lung Cancer Alliance is one of the most respected, along with the more general American Cancer Society.
Additionally, November is a time of year when families gather more often, so reminding at-risk relatives to get screened is another way to observe the month. Plus it gives people one more reason to encourage those around them to give up smoking. If they can go through the month of November without lighting up, they are more likely to remain smoke-free afterward. Challenge them to do so!
Just like many of forms of cancer awareness, including breast cancer and its use of the pink ribbon campaign, lung cancer has a ribbon color too: pearl – a light shade of silvery gray. Although this ribbon color is not as eye-catching, people will often wear the ribbons at events designed to raise funds for new treatment options and continued scientific research as well as to spread the word during Lung Cancer Awareness Month.