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Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer: Signs, Symptoms, Risk Factors and How to Fortify Your Body Against It

The average adult breathes 12 to 20 times a minute, which is equivalent to a minimum of 17,280 times a day. That means that you inhale and exhale 11,000 liters (approximately 3,000 gallons) of air each day. This is why our lung health is very important to our overall wellbeing.

There are many threats to our lung health, including viral and bacterial bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, pulmonary embolus (blood clot) and cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in the United States. Lung cancer claims more lives than colon, prostate, ovarian and breast cancer combined per year. The American Cancer Society provides the following estimates for lung cancer in 2015 in the United States:

  • About 224,210  new cases of lung cancer (116,000 in men and 108,210 in women)
  • An estimated 159,260 deaths from lung cancer (86,930 in men and 72,330 among women).

If a person smokes their risk of lung cancer goes up. The risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked and how long one has smoked. The good news is that if one stops smoking, the risk drops significantly even if the individual has smoked in previous years. When a person smokes, the hair-like structures in the airway, called cilia, become damaged, leading to increased risk of lung infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia. Secondhand smoke can be just as risky as habitual smoking. Even thirdhand smoke on clothes, car upholstery and in one’s house can lead to devastating diseases.

A man’s risk of developing lung cancer in his lifetime is 1 in 13. For women the risk is 1 in 16.  For smokers the risk is much higher, while for non-smokers the risk is much lower.

Signs and Symptoms

Early on, lung cancer often does not have dramatic signs or symptoms. Usually these appear as the disease has advanced. Lung cancer accounts for about 13 percent of all new cancers. If you have any of the following symptoms that have been presented out of nowhere see your doctor.

  • A new cough that doesn’t go away
  • Changes in a chronic cough or “smoker’s cough”
  • Coughing up blood, even a small amount
  • Shortness of breath or chest pain (this could be your heart as well)
  • Wheezing/hoarseness
  • Bone pain
  • Losing weight without trying

Risk Factors:

There are several risk factors beyond smoking that can increase your risk:

  • Exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Exposure to radon gas Please view the world map below to see your region’s risk.  Besides where you live, other factors include ventilation, local uranium in soil and water content. Radon can collect in your workplace and/or home undetected. Consider getting a radon detector for your home. It is a simple device that is placed in your home for a period of time and then sent to be analyzed. These test kits can be routinely purchased at home improvement stores. There are ways to fix radon gas issues if they are detected.

Accessed at:  http://www.fixradon.com/maps/pages/D_01_world_radon_by_country.htm

  • Exposure to asbestos and other chemicals- The work environment can be a risk if one is exposed to asbestos, arsenic, chromium or nickel. These particles can also stick to clothes that need to be washed. If you are a smoker, these factors can put you at an even greater risk of lung cancer.
  • Family history of lung cancer- If you have a blood relative that had lung cancer that was not a smoker, you will want to keep an eye on your other risk factors and symptoms.

What Can A Person Do?

If you smoke, is in your best interest to stop. If you have tried but were unsuccessful, there are many tips that can help you win the battle. Have your brain chemistry tested, specifically the neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate, norepinephrine and epinephrine. Knowing where your brain chemistry is strong and weak can help support your success. If you are low in GABA, L-theanine, a concentrated amino acid from green tea can support GABA levels.  If you are high in glutamate, avoiding MSG can help. If you are low in dopamine then L-tyrosine and mucuna pruriens are commonly used. Likewise, if serotonin is low then 5-HTP or S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) may be a consideration. A simple test can give you insights not only on smoking addiction but also can support optimal brain chemistry.

Have your genetics tested as well. Find out if you have a MTHF-reductase or COMT genetic mutation. If you have these, magnesium, lipoic acid and 5-MTHF (special form of folic acid) can help support your brain chemistry.

Use a HEPA filter at home or work. This is a specialized filter that takes fine particulant matter out of the air.  This can lessen the burden on your lungs that will otherwise be stuck trying to filter out the unhealthy stuff in the air around you.

In Conclusion:

Taking charge of your health and being vigilant is essential. Remember that more than 400,000 people who are alive today have been diagnosed with lung cancer at some point. If you have symptoms, get checked out today and if you have risk factors, control them. If one of your risk factors is potentially impacting the health of the people around you that you love, use these facts to motivate you.

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Health Tips On the Go!

Improve Posture

  • 1.Avoid slouching. Be aware of your posture as you walk, sit, and drive, keep shoulders squared and head pulled back and up.

  • 2.Imagine a thread pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Visualization can help improve your sense of position.

  • 3.If your job requires you to sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to stand, stretch and shake it out.

  • 4.Maintain a strong core to help support proper posture. Add core-training exercises to your daily routine.

  • 5.A firm mattress and ergonomic pillow help achieve proper back support while you sleep, so you'll stand straighter in the a.m.

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