November is Lung Cancer & COPD Awareness Month
November is Lung Cancer & COPD Awareness Month. Here at Hare Wynn, our attorneys want to share some important facts about the devastating impact of these diseases and how to prevent them.
According to the CDC, lung cancer kills more men and women than any other type of cancer. It is the second most common type of cancer in both men and women. Each year, about 146,000 Americans die from lung cancer.
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing problems. COPD includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Chronic lower respiratory disease, primarily COPD, was the fourth leading cause of death in the United States in 2018.
What Causes Lung Cancer?
It’s important to know the risk factors for lung cancer, so you can take steps to prevent the disease and determine if lung cancer screening is right for you.
Smoking and Second-Hand Smoke
Nearly 9 out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking cigarettes. Your risk goes up the more cigarettes you smoke per day and the more years you’ve smoked. Quitting can significantly reduce your risk.
Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of getting lung cancer by 20% to 30%.
Exposure to Radon
Radon is a tasteless, odorless gas that is produced by the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. People can be exposed to radon mainly from breathing radon in air that comes through cracks and gaps in the foundation of buildings and homes.
One out of 15 homes has a high level of radon. It’s a good idea to have your home tested for radon, especially in an area where radon is a known issue.
Exposure to Asbestos and Carcinogens at Work
Exposure to asbestos and other substances are known to cause cancer, like arsenic, chromium, and nickel, in the workplace can increase the risk of lung cancer, especially if you smoke.
Take steps to protect yourself from exposure to carcinogens at work and always your employer’s safety rules, such as wearing a face mask.
Talcum Powder and Zantac
Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products have been linked to certain types of cancer, including mesothelioma which most often affects the lungs.
The cancer-causing chemical NDMA has been found in Zantac, also called Ranitidine. NMDA can have a negative impact on the liver and other internal organs. Zantac is associated with several different types of cancer, including lung cancer.
The biggest risk factor for developing COPD is long-term cigarette smoking. The more packs you smoke and the more years you smoke, the greater your risk. While most people develop COPD from smoking cigarettes, pipe smokers, cigar smokers, and people exposed to large amounts of second-hand smoke are also at an increased risk.
Occupational exposure to chemical fumes and dust can irritate and inflame your lungs, putting you at greater risk of COPD. If you work with these types of lung irritants, talk to your supervisor about the best ways to protect yourself, such as using respiratory protective equipment.
Asthma, a chronic inflammatory airway disease, may be a risk factor for developing COPD. If you have asthma, be extra cautious about exposure to lung irritants. Smoking if you have asthma, smoking increases your risk even more.
Living With COPD
Treatment with COPD can help alleviate symptoms. Treatment may include medications, supplemental oxygen, and pulmonary rehabilitation that teaches people how to breathe better and conserve energy.
COPD can lead to complications:
- Lung infections
- Heart disease
- Lung cancer
- High blood pressure in lung arteries
If you or a loved one has COPD, these tips can reduce the risk of complications:
- Quit smoking to help reduce your risk of heart disease and lung cancer.
- Get an annual flu vaccination and regular vaccination against pneumococcal pneumonia. Take the COVID-19 if you haven’t already, and get a booster if you’re eligible.
- Talk to your doctor if you feel sad or helpless or think that you may be experiencing depression.
Contact Our Birmingham Injury Lawyers
If you developed lung cancer after long-term use of Johnson & Johnson baby powder or Zantac, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Our attorneys also help people whose lung cancer or COPD is linked to occupational exposure file workers’ compensation claims.
For more than 130 years, Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton has been helping individuals and families fight for their rights after someone else’s negligence caused harm and losses
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. You can get in touch with us by calling 855-965-1688 or fill out our online contact form.