November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of cancer and cancer deaths. Over 1 million adults in NYS are cancer survivors and 1 in 10 cancer survivors in NYS are current smokers. Among younger adults (age 18-44), cancer survivors smoke cigarettes at a higher rate (32%) than adults who have not been diagnosed with cancer (14%).

Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is a naturally occurring odorless, colorless radioactive gas that results most often from the decay of rock and soil. Indoor radon can also come from coal combustion, gas appliances, and private well water. Radon moves up from the ground into homes, where it can accumulate and cause exposure to its cancer-causing potential. The type of foundation and the energy efficiency in your home is a factor with less energy-efficient homes and better-ventilated foundations both allowing radon gas to escape. Because of this, two homes next door to each other could have different levels of radon in the indoor air. The only way to know if your home contains radon is to have it tested, which can be done using a kit from a hardware store or having a radon professional perform the test. 

The risk of lung cancer for a smoker with radon exposure can be 10 times higher than a non-smoker with radon exposure. For lung cancer screening, it is important to let your healthcare provider know if you develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, new or worsening cough, chest tightness or pain, hoarse voice, or difficulty swallowing.

NYS offers help to quit smoking through their Quitline
FREE Coaching, Tips & Tools available by contacting 866-697-8487 or nysmokefree.com. Services free & confidential. The Quitline also provides free starter kits of nicotine replacement therapy to eligible New Yorkers.

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