November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month
What you need to know about screening, quitting tobacco and radon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Nov. 16, 2018

CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – Lung cancer accounts for more deaths in both men and women than any other form of cancer in the United States. As part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is encouraging residents to learn more about ways to reduce their risk.

In 2018, there will be an estimated 8,780 new cases of lung cancer and 5,860 deaths from the disease in Michigan. Native American and African American males have higher case and mortality rates.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of most lung cancer deaths in both men and women, followed by radon exposure.

“The best way to prevent lung cancer is to not smoke,” said Nick Lyon, MDHHS director. “However, it’s not easy to quit tobacco, so it’s essential to seek help by scheduling a time to talk to your health care provider.”

If you plan to quit smoking, MDHHS recommends:

People who are 55-80 years of age and current or former heavy smokers should also talk with their doctors about lung cancer screening tests. Finding lung cancer earlier through low-dose CT scans have been proven to provide better outcomes for patients and reduce associated deaths. The lung cancer screening test is covered by many insurance plans.

Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., and radon-related cancers are responsible for an estimated 21,000 deaths annually. Radon is a radioactive gas that cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. It is a natural substance that can be found in the dirt and rocks beneath a house and can enter homes as these materials break down.

MDHHS recommends residents test their homes for radon. Radon test kits are available at many county and city health departments. Visit the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality website to learn how to get a test kit.

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