Mother’s Day is about celebrating all your mother has done for you and the love you have for each other. The American Lung Association wants you to think about Mother’s Day a little differently—saving your mother’s life. In 2014, the American Lung Association founded National Women’s Lung Health Week, taking place May 12-18 this year.
According to the National Cancer Institute, every five minutes a woman in the United States is told she has lung cancer and it is the #1 cancer causing death in women in the United States. Lung cancer takes the lives of more women than breast cancer, and it has one of the lowest survival rates. The American Lung Association says the Commonwealth of Kentucky has the highest incidences of lung cancer in the country, killing more people in our commonwealth than the next eight cancers combined. Even with these statistics, most women don’t give lung cancer much consideration.
Reduce Your Risk For Lung Cancer
For women who are at risk of lung cancer, it is important to reduce your risk and get early screening for lung cancer, if you qualify. To lower your risk for lung cancer:
- Avoid tobacco use
- Avoid exposure to second-hand smoke
- Check your house for radon
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Get screened if you have a history of smoking
St. Elizabeth offers a lung cancer screening program to detect lung cancer early—when it is most treatable. The lung cancer screening consists of a low-dose CT scan and is conveniently available at one of six St. Elizabeth locations: Ft. Thomas, Edgewood, Covington, Florence, Hebron and Grant County. You are a candidate for the low-dose lung cancer screening if you meet the following criteria:
- You are current or former smoker between the ages of 55-77.
- You have a smoking history of at least one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years.
You can also take this quick health-risk assessment online to determine your need for a lung cancer screening.
Joyce Jacobs, RN, MSN, a Heart and Vascular Prevention and Wellness Nurse Navigator at St. Elizabeth Healthcare says, “While lung cancer can’t be completely prevented, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk, including not smoking.”
The American Cancer Society says within 20 minutes after quitting smoking, your body starts to recover. It starts with your heart rate and your blood pressure, but after several months smoke-free you begin to improve your lung function. The longer you are smoke-free, your risk of dying from lung cancer is significantly lower than a person who is still smoking.
“Because 85 percent of lung cancer is caused by smoking, your best defense is to quit,” says Joyce.
Joyce teaches the Freshstart Smoking Cessation program, a free four-week program developed by the American Cancer Society and offered by St. Elizabeth Healthcare. It is a proven way to help adult smokers quit smoking, either traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes.
Sign up for the Freshstart Smoking Cessation program by calling (859) 391-5570 or visiting us online for upcoming class dates. St. Elizabeth offers both daytime and evening classes at a variety of locations to fit your busy schedule.
Events to Celebrate National Women’s Lung Health Week
Join St. Elizabeth in leading Northern Kentucky to become one of the healthiest communities in America by helping fight lung cancer and lung disease. Together we can raise awareness and funds to defeat lung cancer and raise our voices for lung health. Your support saves lives by funding key lung cancer research and providing people who are impacted by lung cancer with invaluable resources, assistance and information. To show support for Lung Health Week, St. Elizabeth asks you to join them by:
- Show your spirit by wearing turquoise. Wear turquoise and show your spirit by posting a selfie on your social media channels.
- Walk with us at the Lung Force Walk. Register your team online through the American Lung Association’s Lung Force Walk website. Be sure to click the blue button titled “Join Team.” By registering with our team, you will join Michele Kenner and Jessica Hartig our team leaders in the Lung Force Walk.
- Team Name: St. Elizabeth Healthcare
- Team Captain: Jessica Hartig
- Date: Saturday, June 8
- Time: 9 a.m.
- Location: Voice of America Metropark, 7850 VOA Park Drive, West Chester, OH
- Support lung cancer research. If you are unable to participate in the walk event, donations may be made online and will directly support the St. Elizabeth Healthcare team. Be sure to click on the red button titled “Donate Now.” Your participation and donation will help make a difference in the lives that desperately need it.