Wyoming Medical Center staff encouraging preventative care during National Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 4:48 PM CST
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer death in both men and women. November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and staff at Wyoming Medical Center is encouraging preventative care.

“The worst thing we can do is stay away from the doctor’s office too long, come back, and catch something a lot later in the course when we could have caught it earlier on with a better prognosis. So keep up with your annual updates,” said Doctor Andy Dunn, the Chief of Primary care at WMC.

Early detection is key when it comes to fighting cancer. Those over the age of 55, current smokers, former smokers who quit in the past 15 years, those who have smoked a pack a day for 20 years, and those who have had two packs a day for 10 years are eligible for screenings. Lung cancer isn’t specific to tobacco use though. Nearly 20 percent of those who die from lung cancer have never used a form of tobacco.

There are several factors that can also increase your risk. This includes genetic mutations, family history, and environmental factors such as pollution and secondhand smoke. Officials recommends educating yourself if this is something you or a loved one may be dealing with.

“Advocacy is of the utmost importance. Supporting your loved ones, supporting your friends through a process such as this is very important. Supporting those to be examined for this is also very important,” said Dr. Dunn.

Lung cancer accounts for approximately one quarter of cancer deaths.

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