This is Our Time: Announcing Lung Cancer Awareness Month This November

November 5, 2013  |  Mesothelioma

Finally – it’s our time! After the pink of October comes the blue of November, signaling that our month, Lung Cancer Awareness month, has arrived. And though this awareness month may be less acknowledged around the country, lung cancer’s immense harm demands that we start speaking up, sharing our knowledge and promoting a change in the destructive things that can cause lung cancer – not just smoking, but also exposure to asbestos and other environmental toxins.

Lung cancer is the number one cancer in the world – you heard that right, and despite its large presence, the stereotype of lung cancer ("you did this to yourself") is unfortunately not doing anything to help with awareness efforts. The truth is, while first and even second-hand (thereby negating any "you did this to yourself" argument) exposure to cigarette smoke and other forms of tobacco may cause many cancers including lung cancer, there are other causes of cancer that have nothing to do with whether or not someone decides to light up.

Take, for example, asbestos.

Who is affected?

– Men who worked in the military, construction, car manufacturing and other industrial fields through the 1970s may have been exposed to the known toxin asbestos during their work.

– Children and other family members exposed to the known toxin asbestos when their fathers came home from work; wives when they did their husband’s laundry.

– Even today individuals who are involved in the industrial or science fields that come into contact with dangerous chemicals may be exposed to asbestos on the job.

– Folks who prefer a do-it-yourself approach to home repair and may not take the necessary measures to protect themselves from asbestos exposure before taking down walls may also be exposed.

The common thread is exposure to asbestos, an exposure that can cause not only lung cancer but also a cancer of the lining of the lung, heart and/or abdomen known as mesothelioma.

While the awareness of asbestos-related cancers may be small, the toll is not. In fact, 10,000 lives are taken every year in the United States because of exposure to asbestos – an exposure that is just as preventable as it is dangerous.

Do your part in the fight against lung cancers this month by talking about asbestos-related cancers like mesothelioma and lung cancer. If there is a news post or article that speaks to you, share it with your friends, talk about the harm of asbestos with your community members and whatever you do, don’t forget: this is our month! Let’s make the best of it and start talking.

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