Women's Wellness November 2010
Lung Disease and Women: Common Problems and Preventive Measures
The ALA states that the number of women diagnosed with COPD has surged ahead of men, asthma rates among women rose 97% compared to a 22% increase in men over a 14-year period, and in 1987, lung cancer surpassed breast cancer to become the leading cause of cancer deaths in women.
Because of these staggering statistics, it’s important to know how to avoid lung disease. The number-one way to protect your lungs and to avoid lung disease is to quit smoking, and if you don’t smoke, don’t start! It’s also important to avoid second-hand smoke. Breathing the smoke from cigarettes and pipes increases your risk for the same diseases that affect people who smoke. Some other ways to avoid lung disease, according to ALA, include:
· Fight germs by washing your hands properly and covering your coughs and sneezes—this will help you prevent infectious lung diseases such as the flu, colds and others.
· Do your part to control outdoor air pollution and keep the air we breathe clean. For example, avoid open-air burning and don't let your car idle. Learn more about how to reduce air pollution.
· Learn about indoor air pollution and what you can do to reduce your exposure. For example, turn on the exhaust fan when you cook and avoid using aerosol products (e.g., aerosol can of hair spray).
· Get moving! Regular physical exercise is good for your whole body and especially your lungs. Exercise makes your lungs stronger and better at giving your body the oxygen it needs. It also helps to
boost your body to fight germs that could make you sick.
· If you have a chronic lung disease such as asthma or COPD, work with your doctor to manage your symptoms and avoid flare-ups.
· Pay attention to lung health at work. Avoid breathing toxic fumes from chemicals, solvents and paints. Wear a protective mask when you work with chemicals and report unsafe working conditions.
Crozer-Keystone Health System is taking on lung cancer with new programs at the health system’s two cancer centers at Crozer-Chester Medical Center and Delaware County Memorial Hospital. The comprehensive lung cancer programs include services for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and support of people diagnosed with lung cancer. The program also includes research via clinical trials, when deemed appropriate.
The Crozer Regional Cancer Center and Delaware County Regional Cancer Center both provide patient care navigators to assist patients who are suspected to have lung or other forms of cancer. The navigators coordinate a plan of care for patients from the initial testing to the consultation with surgeons, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists.
For more information about the comprehensive lung cancer programs at the Crozer Regional Cancer Center and the Delaware County Regional Cancer Center, call 1-866-695-HOPE (1-866-695-4673) or visit http://ckcancer.crozer.org.
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