Nov 7, 2017

Use tobacco? Now is great time to quit!

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and a great time to quit using tobacco!

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death for men and women. It is estimated that 155,870 (84,590 men and 71,280 women) deaths from this disease will occur this year.

Lung cancer makes up 14% of all new cancer diagnoses and accounts for 1 in 4 cancer deaths. Due to a decrease in smoking, death rates have declined by 43% since 1990 in men and 17% in women since 2002.

There are 2 main types of lung cancer. About 80% to 85% of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and about 10% to 15% are small cell lung cancer (SCLC). People with NSCLC may experience the following symptoms or signs:

  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain, if a tumor spreads to the lining of the lung or other parts of the body near the lungs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing up phlegm or mucus
  • Coughing up blood
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Hoarseness

Sometimes people with NSCLC do not have any of these symptoms, or the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not cancer.

There's no sure way to prevent lung cancer, but here are some ways to reduce the risk:

  • Don't smoke
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid secondhand smoke
  • Test your home for radon
  • Avoid carcinogens
  • Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables
  • Exercise

If you smoke, now is a great time to quit. Do you know how much money you could save if you stopped smoking in 2018? The average cost of a one pack a day smoker for one year is $2,000. It’s like getting an instant raise, and you’ll improve your health!

It can be difficult to stop using tobacco or nicotine products. Baxter Regional Medical Center cares about our community and can help you quit. The Peitz Cancer Support House offers QuitSmart Tobacco Cessation classes free of charge to anyone in our community.

Each participant will receive two weeks of nicotine patches, an artificial cigarette, and a relaxation CD. The program is facilitated by a certified registered nurse, and the next course meets three times: Monday, November 27; Monday, December 11 and Friday, December 15, all at 10 a.m. To register or for more information, call the PCSH at (870) 508-CARE (2273) or email pcsh@baxterregional.org.