Long Beach Island Health Department reminds residents that November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer kills more Americans than any other cancer, claiming nearly 440 lives every day and 160,000 lives each year. While the disease can strike anyone, 90 percent of cases in the United States are caused by cigarette smoking. Less often, it is due to exposure to radon or other environmental factors.
There are things you can do that might lower your risk of lung cancer, such as changing the risk factors that you can control.
• Quit smoking. Quitting at any time may lower your risk of lung cancer and help you live longer.
• Avoid breathing second-hand smoke. Smoke from another person’s cigarette, pipe or cigar exposes you to the same dangerous toxins. This supports the smoke-free legislation for public spaces.
• Find out if you are exposed to cancer-causing chemicals in the workplace and take appropriate protective measures.
• Monitor radon levels, especially at home.
Everyone may be able to reduce their risk of lung cancer by eating a healthy, balanced diet. Some evidence suggests that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may help protect against lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers.
If you are a smoker, you may want to participate in the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 15. This annual event challenges smokers to stop smoking for at least 24 hours, but hopefully for a lifetime.
Ready to quit? Call the NJ Quitline for free, confidential telephone counseling and/or contact NJCEED to learn about smoking cessation programs available in your community.
NJQuitline: 1-866-NJSTOPS (1-866-657-8677).
NJCEED Ocean County: 723-557-3202 (English) 732-557-3207 (Spanish).