A Life-Saving Screening

  • by Kramer Holmes
  • 9 Months ago
  • Comments Off

A simple test could be the difference between catching cancer early or finding it in the final stages. Knowledge is power, so use this information as a guide to screenings and identifying risk factors.

Risk Factors

It should be common knowledge these days, but smoking is a huge risk factor for developing lung cancer. Even people who smoke socially or who are nonsmokers, but live with people who aren’t can increase their risk. Living with someone who has this habit exposes everyone to secondhand smoke and can even influence them to pick up a cigarette. The prevalence of vaping and electronic cigarettes add another layer to the smoking epidemic. Now kids are more likely to try their hand at this destructive behaviour, and they get lured in by fun flavours and the promise of it being nicotine-free. However, people who use electronic cigarettes are much more likely to turn to the real thing in a matter of time.

Besides cigarettes and e-cigs, age plays a role in developing this type of cancer. Those over the age of 50 see a spike in the likelihood of getting the disease. Doctors aren’t quite sure why this is the case, especially in nonsmokers, but it’s safe to say that those above 50 should get regular screenings.

The Screening

Speaking of getting tested, there are plenty of places to find a lung cancer screening in Singapore. Trained and knowledgeable medical professionals conduct the screening session and begin by asking questions about the patient’s family and health history. There might be some clues to risk factors, such as a family member who was a heavy smoker or a prevalence of cancer diagnoses on one side of the family. Patients will report any unexpected weight loss, a cough that won’t go away, and other symptoms that could signal lung cancer. Even achy bones can be an indicator, so open and honest communication is crucial. As for tests, chest x-rays do not tell the whole story, so the doctor may want to do something different. A CT scan get a picture of the chest area and lungs without exposing patients to a lot of radiation.

Prevention and Early Detection

Perhaps most important is taking care of one’s health now to prevent disease and illness in the future. If a person works a job that requires constant exposure to things such as asbestos or radon gas, they should get fully protective equipment and clothing. These two substances are known to increase the likelihood of getting lung cancer. Moreover, everyone should try to avoid secondhand smoke as much as possible. Those who do smoke might want to consider enrolling in a support group to help them kick the habit. Not only is smoking unattractive and stinky, but it can bring about so many other illnesses besides lung cancer.

It doesn’t matter if a person has no family history of lung cancer and lives in a smoke-free household. The risk is always there, especially for those over 50, so there is no excuse not to get screened.

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