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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month- a great time to educate yourself about the number one thing you can do to help prevent the disease.

There are three main types of lung cancer, each with varying treatments and prognosis.

They are:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Lung carcinoid tumors

Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type with nearly 85% of the cases. While it can’t be completely prevented, there are several factors that greatly increase your risk of lung cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use is still the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world. When it comes to lung cancer specifically, tobacco use is the leading risk factor for developing the disease. Those who smoke have a much higher risk of developing lung cancer than non-smokers.

One significant way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is to stop smoking or drastically cut back.

The Great American Smokeout event, organized by the American Cancer Society, is the perfect time to do this. Held on the third Thursday of November, this year’s event falls on November 16. Whether you’re interested in quitting for good, or only want to commit to a day, the Smokeout event is a chance to make a positive change in your tobacco use and ultimately – your life. It’s never too late to quit smoking or using tobacco. Damaged lung tissue, no matter how long you’ve been a user, will gradually repair itself once you’re no longer a smoker.

If you’re looking for resources to quit, you can find step-by-step guides and materials here. Not sure you have a problem? Take the American Cancer Society’s “Smoking Habits Quiz.”