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1st of August, 2021, the occasion of World Lung Cancer Day. On this occasion, this is a note that comes straight from my heart. I know from my personal experiences that anyone fighting with Cancer goes through a lot. Be it any form of Cancer ! A few months ago, back in the first week of March 2021, I lost a person who was close to me and it was to Lung Cancer. I was on my chemotherapy sessions at that time. The 5th session out of my 6 sessions to be precise.
A moment of fear gripped my mind and a lot more thoughts wandered because I was going through my sessions. And the fear was not of death to be precise. It was about what will happen to my near ones if something bad was to happen to me. A person diagnosed with Cancer has a lot of trouble served into the plate because lady luck isn’t smiling up on the person at that time.
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In my case, the physical suffering was to be bedridden for 2 months and have a lung piping for the same amount of days. Something that helped drained out unwanted fluids out from my lungs. Things do not stop here, the patient goes through a lot of emotional issues and financial tussle as well. For me, all this happened because of Lymphoma, cancer that originated in the lymph nodes and had then spread to the lungs. Yet it sounds so scary !! I know, listening to all this might be intimidating to some people but then I want to make a point.
Because I surely believe that the warnings on the cigarette packets do not serve the purpose well. I see more and more people literally smoking their lives away. While someone may get the cancer by a pinch of bad luck, what remains in our hands is the prevention by adopting better lifestyle habits. Because you know what, better safe than sorry. Lung cancer does have a high risk of fatalities, which means a lesser percentage of survival. But that should never mean a person should give up on hope. Because miracles do happen and I am an example of such a miracle that pulled out from a Stage 4 cancer. So don’t ever let the person lose hope.
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This year’s theme for Lung Cancer Day is I Am and I Will. A short yet a strong statement focusing to instill hope and give direction to the efforts each one of us makes to keep ourselves and our near ones away from the risk of Cancer. Remember, just as not all cancers are pink, so is the journey different from each type and so would be the way to stay safe. Lung Cancer is represented by a White or a Pearl Ribbon. And as applicable for any other type of Cancer, early detection is what makes a lot of difference. Talk to the family doctor or an Oncologist (Cancer Specialist) would be a better option. Based on the analysis, the doctor might suggest periodic scans if the person seems to be a high risk individual.
Early detection means lesser suffering and a higher probability of survival. I would not want anyone to go through the sufferings that I went through. As far as the symptoms are concerned, a red tinged phlegm or worse even blood in phlegm or more phlegm than usual are alarming signs. Similarly an intense coughing that doesn’t sort out itself in a few days, unexplained weight change (either a plus or a minus) and shortness of breath are some important symptoms. Some people would surely have no symptoms at all until it is too late.
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In terms of what causes lung cancer, we have quite some things that may trigger the issue. Obviously luck and genetics do play a role and we probably do not have much control over it. But in terms of lifestyle, smoking is the biggest risk factor. About 80 percent of Lung Cancer cases link back to Tobacco consumption. And that is a bad reason because even second hand smoke can cause cancer. That is how much a smoker risks the lives of his or her near ones. Not only that, it is a sad thing that people do not understand the impact that someone’s demise may cause to the family. The turmoil and emotional aspect can never be corrected by Insurance claims or anything else.
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As per Cancer.org, even air pollution, diesel exhausts or anything that can cause trouble to the lung linings can cause Lung Cancer. The best thing we can do is to spread the awareness so that the sufferings for anyone are a lot more reduced. A research speaks about diets high in fruits and veggies helping reduce the probability of Lung Cancer, but then this does not mean in any ways that a person may smoke and then use veggies to clean it off. It may not help that way. Quitting tobacco interaction is the way.
And each one of us has to do it for ourselves because maybe for the governments and the companies, we are just a number and profits and taxes are more important.
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