Want to learn more about lung cancer prevention? These resources can help

Stock image. Anna Shvets (Pexels)

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a disease whose leading risk factor, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), is cigarette smoking.

The ACS attributes 80% of all lung cancer deaths directly to smoking cigarettes.

Methodist Healthcare has been recognized by the Texas Health Care Information Council as providing more cancer care than any other healthcare system in South Texas.

This November, Methodist Healthcare is continuing their 60-year mission of serving the healthcare needs of San Antonio’s residents by encouraging smoking cessation.

The benefits of quitting

Smoking cessation, or more simply quitting smoking, can have an almost immediate affect on your body.

The ACS outlines how your body begins to recover from your last cigarette:

  • Within 20 minutes after smoking, your heart and blood pressure drop.
  • Within a few days your blood oxygen level improves
  • Within two weeks to three months your lung function and circulation improves
  • Within one to 12 months you can expect to see a decrease in coughing and shortness of breath.

The benefits only continue as time goes on, lowering your risk of lung cancer to about half that of a smoking person within ten years of quitting.

Support in quitting

Although there is no danger to quitting smoking, many regular smokers experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms from nicotine such as dizziness, depression, and anxiety.

With symptoms such as these, it’s no surprise that the ACS reports that most people try to quit smoking multiple times before they are successful.

This is why Methodist Healthcare supports San Antonians through the process by providing smoking cessation services.

The program is offered over a variety of dates and times to meet your needs, and includes:

  • A one-on-one interview with a medical professional who has advanced knowledge of tobacco cessation counseling.
  • Patient enrollment in Quit Now, a state-funded program with 24/7 coaching available
  • Evidence-based patient education handouts and videos
  • Coordination with the patient’s primary physician to initiate adjunct tobacco cessation therapies if needed.

For more information on Methodist Healthcare’s Quit Smoking Program, please call (210)575-8235. It’s never too late to stop smoking and lower your risk of lung cancer.

Take a lung health assessment

Lung cancer is difficult to identify and many people don’t experience any symptoms until the cancer has reached an advanced stage.

It’s for this reason that yearly lung cancer screenings are recommended as it allows for a higher likelihood of successful treatment.

If you currently are or have been a smoker, have been exposed to second hand smoke, or are over the age of 50, honor lung cancer awareness month by taking Methodist Healthcare’s Lung Health Assessment.

This free assessment takes less than ten minutes to complete, will provide you with an inventory on your current lung health, and advise next steps in your lung healthcare to include if you should schedule a lung cancer screening.