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Lung Cancer Awareness Month - History, Importance, And Facts

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death globally. Every year, over 2,000,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer worldwide, making it one of the most common forms of cancer. If diagnosed at an earlier stage, patients have a better likelihood of living for more than they would have otherwise. Lung Cancer Awareness Month emphasizes making a difference in people’s lives by educating them and making them more aware of the symptoms, treatment, and adverse effects of lung cancer. 

 

By raising awareness about the far-reaching impact and threats the disease poses and challenging all the associated stigma, we can hope to drive improved outcomes for people this Lung Cancer Awareness Month. 

 

Overview

Almost two decades ago, the Lung Cancer Alliance launched the first Lung Cancer Awareness Day in the US. The day aimed at raising awareness and recognition about symptoms and consequences of lung cancer, which include persistent cough, fatigue, as well as loss of appetite. Eventually, the day of awareness evolved into a global initiative, which came to be known as the Lung Cancer Awareness Month, which is observed every year in the month of November. 

 

The prime intent behind this month of observance is to encourage people to go out and seek medical advice, encourage early diagnosis, treat the disease as effectively as possible, and highlight other essential factors that will influence the patient’s outcome in terms of life and mortality. For example, the month of awareness will focus on educating us about the complexity of the disease, different kinds of people who suffer from the same, and the damaging consequences we have to face, along with the stigma related to lung cancer. This helps promote earlier diagnosis and encourage better care and support for someone who has lung cancer. 

 

The Lung Cancer Awareness Month gives us an opportunity to highlight all the latest developments and advances when treating patients globally and show our solidarity and support with the people suffering, along with their families.

 

Facts to know this lung cancer awareness month: 

- An average person takes as many as 20,000 resting breaths every day. 

- Lungs are a network of almost 600 million small interconnected tubes. 

- You can improve your lung capacity by cardiovascular exercises

- On average, a person can breathe almost 13 pints of air in a minute 

- Coughing and sneezing help keep your lungs clear of all kinds of substances that one can inhale unknowingly.

 

History 

Historically speaking, the first known recorded lung cancer cases can be traced back to 3000 BC in Egypt. During this time, people in Egypt had a notion that the Gods caused cancer. While, on the other hand, Greeks believed that cancer was caused by the excess presence of black bile in one’s body. It was around 460-370 BC that Hippocrates termed the word “Carcinos” or “Carcinoma” to describe any form of tumor. 

 

It was not until the 16th century that lung cancer became known as a severely distinct disease. Probing further into research on lung cancer, different characteristics of lung cancer started being identified in 1810. However, even during the time, lung cancer was extremely rare and was spotted in miners more often than others. Between 1876-1938, approximately 60% to 80% of miners died because of this disease. This led to people calling mines “death pits.” 

 

Until 1878, lung cancer was considered rare since it comprised roughly a tiny fraction of all kinds of cancers. Unfortunately, this percentage rose to a whopping 10% by 1918, further increasing to 14% in 1927. This is because smoking as an activity or a habit among people started growing during these years. Its adverse effects on humans were not yet detected. In 1929, German physician Fritz Lickint was the first to recognize and emphasize the connection between lung cancer and smoking. Naturally, this further led to the famous anti-tobacco movement in Nazi Germany. This movement later trickled down to other parts of the world as well, where cases of lung cancer started to increase. By the 1930s, there was an unusual increase in this disease because of which researchers started assessing the connection between lung cancer and smoking. In 1940, a case-controlled study was published in Germany where it was found that an extraordinary rise in tobacco use was a significant cause of rising cases of lung cancer. 

 

Significance 

 

Raises awareness 

The Lung Cancer Awareness Month educates us with the right resources and information about lung cancer and ways to prevent it. The month of observance also discusses how common the illness is and why we need to be cautious. 

 

Promotes early detection 

The month of observance also aims at promoting the significance of detecting lung cancer early in life. This offers us a chance to catch the early signs of the disease and stop it before it reaches a severely dangerous stage. 

 

Highlights the risk of smoking 

This awareness month also focuses on educating the world about the harmful effects of tobacco consumption and smoking. Smoking is one of the most common causes of lung cancer. 

 

Observing Lung Cancer Awareness Month 

 

Attend programs and conferences 

Throughout Lung Cancer Awareness Month, attend programs and conferences on lung cancer that aim at educating people and healthcare professionals. Programs and events of such kind are held across the country. Attend one nearest to your trusted healthcare facility to be better aware of the illness. 

 

Promote it on your social media 

Promote various causes and reasons that lead to the spread of lung cancer among people. Talk about the importance of getting checked for signs and symptoms of lung cancer annually, discuss signs to detect lung cancer early, and why it helps to be evaluated every year. Use the #LungCancerAwarenessMonth with your posts. 

 

Donate for research 

Celebrate the month by donating as much as you can to your favorite charity or non-profit organization. This donation will help work towards developing the right cure for lung cancer. Every penny helps! 

 

Final Words 

The month of observance is held annually in November, highlighting the need for better research that needs to be done while simultaneously cultivating a better understanding of lung cancer. Tragically, lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer globally and is often the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women worldwide. Every year, 218,500 lives are affected due to lung cancer in just our country alone. Of these, 142,000 lives succumb to the disease gradually. 

 

This happens because lung cancer can be challenging to identify. Most individuals do not experience any symptoms until cancer has reached an extremely advanced stage. It is due to this reason that annual lung cancer screenings are recommended for people who smoke or have quit in the past 15 years. This Lung Cancer Awareness Month, pledge to educate those around you regarding the horrifying disease. 

 

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