Waushara County Health News By Waushara County Health Department
November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Did you know Lung Cancer takes more lives than breast, prostate, and colon cancers combined? According to the Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, the rate of new lung cancer cases in Waushara County is 72 per 100,000 people. This is higher than the state rate which is 61.5.
Lung cancer is cancer that starts in the lungs. When a person has lung cancer, they have abnormal cells that cluster together to form a tumor. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells grow without order or control, destroying the healthy lung tissue around them. When the cancer cells spread, they prevent organs of the body from functioning properly.
Anyone can get lung cancer, but smoking is the number one cause. According to the 2018 County Health Rankings, 16 percent of Waushara County adults are current smokers. Tobacco smoke contains many chemicals that are known to cause lung cancer. If you still smoke, quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do for your lung health. Nonsmokers also can be affected by smoking. Breathing in secondhand smoke puts you at risk for lung cancer or other illnesses.
Many people with lung cancer don’t have symptoms until the disease is in its later stages. When symptoms are present, they are different in each person, but may include: a cough that doesn’t go away and gets worse over time; hoarseness; constant chest pain; shortness of breath or wheezing; frequent lung infections, such as bronchitis, pneumonia; coughing up blood.
Some people, unfort-unately, go misdiagnosed for a long time because their symptoms are similar to other diagnoses such as pneumonia, allergies or a cold. If you feel that something is wrong, be persistent with your doctor. You know your body best and being persistent could save your life.