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Lung cancer awareness month graphic

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Yesterday, November 1st, marked the beginning of Lung Cancer Awareness Month. The purpose of this campaign is to remind individuals of the significance that prevention and early intervention have to survival rates.

Lung cancer is considered to be the most prevalent occupational related cancer. Even though it is difficult to estimate the exact percentage of patients suffering from lung cancer who’ve been previously exposed to work-related carcinogens, the figure is thought to be around 10%.

Key Facts About Occupational Lung Cancer:

  • Lung cancer is estimated to be the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide during the past few decades
  • The contribution of occupation to the causation of lung cancer is thought to be significantly higher in comparison to other common cancers
  • Smoking can increase the risk of occupational lung cancer
  • Occupational lung cancer is preventable

Doctor holding X-ray image of lungs

Which Occupational Agents/Activities Increase the Risk of Lung Cancer?

  • Mining and usage of asbestos in industry or manufacture
  • Usage of arsenic or arsenic compounds
  • Exposure to beryllium and beryllium oxide
  • Exposure to substances as a painter (pigment particles, resins, silica)
  • Industrial use of cadmium (in batteries, pigments, coatings, and plating)
  • Industries which produce nickel (e.g., mining), or industries which use it (like alloys and stainless-steel manufacture)
  • Exposure to silica dust and quartz (e.g., in glass manufacture or the jewellery industry)
  • Working in aluminium production
  • Exposure to dust and fumes in the rubber-manufacturing industry
  • Occupational exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke of workers in bars, restaurants, etc.

Common Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Unfortunately, lung cancer doesn’t usually display symptoms in its early stages which makes early diagnosis difficult. Signs typically appear when the disease has become advanced. The most common symptoms include:

  • A new and continuous cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Breathlessness
  • Chest pain
  • Bone pain
  • Headache
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Hoarseness

Woman holding tissue in front of mouth

Preventing Occupational Lung Cancer

The most effective way to prevent lung cancer is to avoid breathing in carcinogenic agents. Other measures you can implement to reduce your risk of developing the disease include:

  • Avoid smoking: smoke inhalation can increase the risk of occupational cancer (and other types of lung diseases)
  • Wear appropriate protective equipment when working around/with carcinogenic agents
  • As an employer, ensure that you workers are educated regarding the risks of lung cancer
  • Hire an occupational health technician to evaluate your work environment for occupational lung diseases risks
  • Have your workforce’s lung function regularly evaluated with spirometry

Healthcreen’s Lung Function (Spirometry) Service

Healthscreen provide an on-site spirometry service by fully trained professionals using equipment and methods which are compliant with the most recent standards and guidelines. Our service is designed to be as convenient as possible to ensure minimal disruption to your business.

Our Spirometry Test aims to detect early damage to your workforce’s lung function that might have occurred as a result of exposure to hazardous agents. Each test takes around 10 minutes. Our service includes:

  • A confidential questionnaire indicating substance exposure and health history
  • Blood pressure reading
  • Advise and referrals for any employees whose lung function is found to be adversely affected

Doctor performing pulmonary test of female patient

Our Asbestos Medical Assessment Service

Healthscreen also offer an Asbestos Medical service, employing a variety of testing methods to ensure the continued safety of you and your employees. Asbestos is thought to be the number-one cause of occupational lung cancer and exposure to this substance can have serious negative consequences for your worker’s health.

Our Asbestos Medical Assessments take up to 45 minutes and are consultation-based. They also consist of a lung function and general health check, including listening to the patient’s chest. Our Asbestos Medical Assessments can be conducted either in one of our clinics or on-site, depending on the number of employees who require the medical.

In case you require more information regarding our services, please get in touch with us by calling 01455 243700, emailing [email protected], or using our convenient contact form! Alternatively, click here to ask for a free, no-obligation quote.

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