Your lungs are essential organs, but they’re often forgotten about until problems arise.
Pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining near the lungs, often causes troubles for a person’s lung health. It’s also one of the most challenging cancers to detect early enough to save your lungs — and life.
That’s why this October, for Healthy Lung Month, we at Mesothelioma Guide urge people to do whatever they can to preserve their lungs.
“Our lungs are important and Healthy Lung Month is an opportunity to create awareness around healthy lifestyle choices,” the National Today website states.
One action to take? Seeing your primary physician.
Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer affecting the elderly, such as people in their sixties and seventies. This age demographic should prioritize at least annual check‑ups with their doctor. If you can, go sooner.
The more exposure you have to your doctor, the more comfortable you’ll likely be discussing recurring symptoms. You might disregard your breathing issues or the chest pain, but both are symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. Both are an effect of the lungs not having enough space to expand as needed in the chest cavity.
The only way to know for sure if your lungs are in good health is to see your doctor. They’ll get a sense from the regular exam, which includes breathing and coughing tests, how your respiratory and pulmonary systems are functioning. They can also get imaging scans to investigate any concerns.
“The best way to know if your lungs are functioning properly is to check in with your doctor,” National Today reads. “Discuss any shortness of breath and be honest about any symptoms. Pretending that symptoms don’t exist won’t make them go away. With a good bill of health and an action plan for better lung maintenance, you’ll breathe easier in October and beyond.”
History of Healthy Lung Month
Healthy Lung Month started with a focus on tuberculosis, the flu and other airborne ailments. Pleural mesothelioma isn’t a contagious disease, but it is caused by a silent, hidden killer called asbestos, which you breathe into your pleural lining and even your lungs.
Around 150,000 people in the United States die from lung cancer each year. Only 2,000 Americans die of pleural mesothelioma, but it’s a fast‑moving cancer with bleak survival data.
Asbestosis, another lung‑related asbestos disease, affects around 10,000 Americans each year. Asbestosis is lung tissue scarring from sharp asbestos fibers. This scarring can have lifelong effects on your lung health.
How Else to Protect Your Lungs From Mesothelioma
Another strategy to save your lungs is by getting rid of asbestos in your home. If your home was built prior to 1980, there’s a good chance it includes at least traces of asbestos from the original construction.
However, completing this task is a little tricky. You can’t just clean your attic and suddenly be free of asbestos. It’s likely in the foundation of your house, under tiles, near roof shingles, and more.
Removing asbestos yourself also isn’t safe. In fact, that’s a direct way to expose your lungs to sharp asbestos fragments. You should hire an asbestos abatement company to come and remove whatever is still in your home.
This will make your daily life safer and prevent any future asbestos exposure on your lungs.
Sources & Author
- Healthy Lung Month – October 2021. National Today. Retrieved from: https://nationaltoday.com/healthy-lung-month/. Accessed: 09/07/2021.