Millions of people in the U.S. suffer from lung disease, of which there are many different types, including lung cancer. Some lung diseases affect the airways, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, while others affect the linings of the lung’s air sacs, such as pneumonia and interstitial lung disease. In some cases, lung disease can send you to the ER. For example, you’ll need the attention of ER doctors if you experience difficulty breathing or chest pain. If you have risk factors for lung disease, work with a doctor to learn about preventative measures you can take.
Uncontrollable Risk Factors
Certain risk factors for lung disease are uncontrollable, such as your family history. For example, you may be at a higher risk of lung cancer if your close relatives have been diagnosed with it. For some types of lung disease, age plays a role. You may be at a higher risk of interstitial lung disease if you are an adult, for example. Being older than 40 years of age can be a risk factor for chronic obstructive lung disease. Other uncontrollable risk factors include your own personal medical history. If you’re previously received radiation therapy for breast cancer or Hodgkin’s disease, your risk of lung disease may increase.
Controllable Risk Factors
Your controllable risk factors refer to your lifestyle choices. Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for lung disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 90 percent of lung cancers are caused by smoking cigarettes. Smoking also increases the risk of interstitial lung disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, and similar conditions.
Environmental Risk Factors
Exposure to environmental toxins can be detrimental to your health. These substances include silica, chromium, arsenic, and asbestos. Air pollutants may also include smoke from wood fires. Additionally, it’s possible to be exposed to environmental toxins in your own home. Have your basement tested for radon gas, which is the second most common cause of lung cancer.
The physicians at Palms West Hospital will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that suits your unique needs. Call our compassionate team of healthcare professionals at (561) 798-3300 to schedule a visit. In addition to care for lung diseases, we offer pediatric care, robotic surgery, orthopedics, and women’s care, including mammograms. Learn more on our website.