(CTN News) – As one of the most common cancers in the United States, lung cancer ranks third among all types of cancer.
It has been reported that over 12,000 cases of lung cancer have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the state of Texas in 2020.
As one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States, smoking and using tobacco, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, and chewing tobacco, are the leading causes of preventable deaths.
The Harris County Public Health Department (HCPH) encourages its residents to practice healthy behaviors during the month of November, which is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Here’s what the CDC recommends to lower your risk:
Do not smoke: Smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer deaths, accounting for 80-90% of the cases. One of the most important steps you can take to prevent the spread of tobacco disease is to quit smoking, or not to start the habit in the first place.
Tobacco smoke from others can be harmful to your health, so it is important to avoid secondhand smoke.
Take steps to improve indoor air quality at home and at work by reducing particles that could be harmful to your lungs by visiting the American Lung Association website to learn how to improve air quality indoors by reducing particles that could be harmful to your lungs.
In order to prevent the start of individuals using tobacco or vaping in our community, HCPH offers free in-person or virtual educational sessions as part of its Tobacco/Vaping Prevention and Cessation (TC) Program.
There is a team of specialists at HCPH who work with members of the Harris County community, schools, community centers, and businesses requesting assistance. Furthermore, this program refers participants to the Texas Quitline, a statewide resource that offers free nicotine patches, gums, and/or lozenges to qualifying residents who qualify under the program.
As well as the free resources provided by HCPH and the State of Texas, it is recommended that you see a doctor for preventive screenings if you are a smoker and meet the criteria listed below as a smoker. Among people who meet the following criteria, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends yearly screening for lung cancer every year:
Do you have a smoking history of 20 packs a year or more
In the last 15 years, you have either stopped smoking or are currently smoking
People between the ages of 50 and 80