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national-pancreatic-and-lung-cancer-awareness-monthNovember is National Pancreatic and Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Here are facts about both types of cancers.

Many of us have lost loved ones or know someone fighting pancreatic or lung cancer. Cancer in itself, of any kind, is devastating. Research has revealed valuable information about symptoms, and risk factors for pancreatic and lung cancer. So it's good for us to know what causes these cancers, what those who are stricken with cancer are feeling, and how to prevent pancreatic and lung cancer. The following is information you should know.

Pancreatic Cancer

Researchers are still uncertain as to what causes pancreatic cancer. However, there are known risk factors, such as diabetes and smoking. Other factors that raise the risk of pancreatic cancer are age, race, gender, and religion. The older you are, pancreatic cancer risk increases. African Americans seem to have higher rates, as well as the Jewish population due to an inherited gene mutation known as BHRCA2. Pancreatic cancer is ranked number four in deaths from cancer. Only 23 percent of people will be alive after diagnosis.

Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

  • Abdominal pain
  • Yellowing of eyes and skin
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting/nausea
  • Itchy skin
  • Sudden onset of diabetes
  • Changes in urine color or stools 

Lung Cancer

As many of us know, smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. The second leading cause of lung cancer is radon exposure, which is the leading reason people who have never smoked, get lung cancer. Other factors that increase risk are environmental or occupational exposure to radiation, second hand smoke, asbestos, arsenic, air pollution and some organic chemicals. Genetics may also play a factor.

  • Every year in the United States over 228,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer. Almost 160,000 die from the disease
  • One in 14 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Blood when spitting or coughing
  • New or different cough that won't go away
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or ache in the back, shoulder or chest
  • Wheezing or hoarseness
  • Loss of appetite or exhaustion
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Facial or neck swelling
  • Weight loss
  • Lung cancer kills more people than colon cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer combined, responsible for 27% of cancer deaths

We hope this information is helpful as we remember those battling pancreatic and lung cancers. Womensforum is committed to providing helpful information and raising awareness of pancreatic and lung cancer, in addition to other health concerns. We wish you good health!

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