Lung Cancer Awareness

November is lung cancer awareness month. According to the CDC, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and the second most common type of cancer. Each year, about 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with lung cancer and more than 150,000 people die from the disease.

Most people associate lung cancer with smoking, but anyone can get lung cancer – even non-smokers. There are many other factors that can cause lung cancer, such as genetics, second hand smoke, and exposure to radon gas.

Lung cancer symptoms include:

  • Coughing, especially if it persists or becomes intense
  • Pain in the chest, shoulder, or back that is unrelated to pain from coughing
  • A change in color or volume of sputum
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Changes in the voice or hoarseness
  • Harsh sounds with each breath (known as stridor)
  • Recurrent lung problems, such as bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Coughing up phlegm or mucus, especially if it is tinged with blood

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important that you contact your doctor right away.