You might know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, but October is also Healthy Lung Month. As the temperature drops and seasonal allergies kick up, it’s the perfect time of year to give our lungs a little TLC.
Why it Matters
COPD is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US. Currently, it’s estimated there are 24 million un-diagnosed cases and only 11 million diagnosed (ALA).
Pollutants and cigarette smoke are bad for everyone, but women are especially vulnerable.
Lung Cancer is the leading cancer in the US – causing more deaths than colorectal, breast, and prostate combined.
Symptoms to Pay Attention to (and tell us about)
A cough that has lasted more than 3 weeks.
Shortness of breath even without heavy activity
Chest pain that’s lasted more than 2 weeks – especially if it’s caused by coughing
Mucus that has lasted more than 3 weeks
Healthy Lung Maintenance
If you smoke, please stop. We know it can be hard, and we would be happy to help you with smoking cessation counseling. It doesn’t matter how clear the air around you is, if you’re smoking, your lungs are going to suffer for it.
Be mindful of pollutants. Some of us are more sensitive to one thing over another (car exhaust versus industrial cleaners, for example). Listen to your body and try to avoid those things that trigger you. If you can’t avoid them, head over to your local hardware store and invest in a quality face mask.
Work your lungs out. Try to get daily aerobic exercise of some kind; walking, biking, and swimming are all low-impact ways to help your lungs reach their full capacity and strengthen their overall performance.
For more information, please view these resources: