November: Lung Cancer Awareness Month


Did you know that November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month? Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women and the leading cause of cancer related death in the United States. Anyone can get lung cancer, all you need is a pair of lungs.

According to American Cancer Society, about 1 in 4 cancer deaths are from lung cancer. The National Cancer Institute estimates that there will be 155,870 deaths due to lung cancer in the United States this year alone. Based on cases spanning from 2010-2014, 65.7 per 1,000 men will develop lung cancer, while 48.4 per 1,000 women will develop this cancer.

Cigarette use is usually the first thing to come to mind when we hear about lung cancer. This makes total sense because it is the number one risk factor, but there are many other causes such as exposure to certain particles or chemicals in some people’s workplace and smoking can actually increase that risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that asbestos, arsenic, diesel exhaust, silica, and chromium are some examples of substances that can found at some workplaces that increase this risk. Manufacturing, industry and construction are some of the leading jobs at risk for this.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute suggest the following preventative measures for the workplace:

  • Wear proper protective devices, such as facial masks, when around airborne irritants and dusts.
  • Evaluate lung function with spirometry (an evaluation of lung function performed in the doctor’s office) as often as recommended by your doctor to familiarize yourself with your lung function.
  • Educate your workers concerning the risks of lung disease.
  • Hire a specially-trained occupational health expert to investigate your work environment for risks for occupational lung diseases.

And, obviously, do not smoke. Smoking can actually increase the risk for occupational lung disease.

If you think your lungs have been affected by a hazardous workplace substance and your employer does not have worker’s compensation insurance, contact The Merman Law Firm immediately to maximize your recovery.