October is dominated by the color pink as the nation rallies to promote breast cancer awareness. However, it is also a month to focus on preventing another, even more deadly disease, lung cancer.
October is Healthy Lung Month, dedicated to raising awareness for lung diseases and providing tips to keep your lungs healthy.
The main lung disease that causes the most damage is lung cancer. It is the second most prevalent cancer in both American men and women, right behind prostate and breast cancer, but it is the most deadly. Over 220,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed this year alone. About 158,000 of those cases will result in death.
In fact, each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.
Did you know that annual CT screenings for high-risk individuals are often covered by insurance, including Medicare Part B?
Annual lung screenings in Fort Myers can both reduce the risk of developing lung cancer and catch it in its earliest stages. Screenings are especially important for patients with a history of smoking, and are often covered by insurance, including Medicare Part B.
According to the Lung Cancer Alliance, current smokers or those who have smoked in the past, have a 25 times higher chance of developing lung cancer than those who have never smoked.
Statistics like that are what motivates Imtiaz Ahmad, M.D., our Board Certified Pulmonologist and the founder of Allergy Sleep & Lung Care, to recommend screenings for his patients. He believes in a proactive approach.
“Each day we must make ourselves aware of the lifestyle choices that we are making, and allow ourselves to be surrounded with. We should be questioning how those decisions will affect our health in the long term. We can’t afford to wait for a diagnosis to start caring for our lungs,” says Dr. Ahmad.
“We receive regular checkups for so many other parts of our bodies. Women are pushed to get mammograms, and men are told to go for prostate checks. We need to take care of our lungs as well.”
The most effective way to prevent the chance of lung cancer is to avoid smoking. It’s important to avoid second hand smoke and stop smoking if you are a current smoker. It’s also recommended to avoid carcinogens at work. A healthy lifestyle with a diet full of fruits and vegetables and regular exercise are also ways to help prevent cancer.
For more information about lung health, contact us today.