PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — This month is a time to bring awareness to a disease that kills around 150,000 people a year. In addition to screenings there are other ways to help prevent the disease.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. The Florida Department of Heath in Bay County wanrs that there are several different ways people can develop lung cancer.
“We know that most lung cancers can be prevented. Because the primary cause of lung cancer is smoking. We do have programs for people, we do understand it’s hard to quit. A lot of people it takes seven quit attempts before they are able to be successful with that,” said Florida Health Department’s Spokeswoman, Heather Kretzer.
The health department offers many different support systems for people who want to stop smoking
“We have quit your way, they can use phone quit, web quit or group quit. They also get sensation patches and things like that in order to help them,” said Kretzer.
Environmental Specialist, Gary Lichtler says the second leading cause is radon exposure, a gas that is naturally occurring in soil.
“If you breathe high enough concentrations over a long enough period of time, its produces ionizing radiation which can damage the cells in your lungs and increase the possibility of developing lung cancer,” said Lichtler.
Not typically a concern for residents in Bay County, but there are still ways to test levels in your home. The kits range in price from $10 to $30.
“If you have any concerns about elevated radon levels in your home or business, you can purchase a radon test kit from any hardware store,” said Lichtler.
For a link to the free kits, go to: http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmentalhealth/radon/Outreach/testkitrequest.html
The link is also available for people to access residential radon level occurrence by ZIP code and also the radon testing data for facilities that are required to test for radon: http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/radon/radon-menu.html