As we salute the men and women who served our nation on Veterans Day, the American Lung Association wants veterans and their loved ones to know that those who served have a higher incidence of lung cancer than the general population.
November is also Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and the message that veterans have an increased risk for acquiring this dreaded disease is an important one that's too often overlooked in the stories we typically read about both veterans and about lung cancer.
It's no secret that tobacco use in the military was once encouraged and that many who served developed a lifelong addiction. Yet despite all that we now know about tobacco's dangers, members of our military still smoke at rates that exceed the general population. Add in the exposure to chemicals like asbestos, depleted uranium, smoke from burn pits and other harmful emissions, and this risk becomes even greater.
The Lung Association urges veterans to talk with their doctors about their risk for lung cancer. We also encourage veterans who smoke or did smoke to visit lungcancerscreeningsaveslives.org, to see if lung cancer screening might be appropriate for them.
We are here for veterans, and all Americans, who need help quitting smoking. It's the most important thing a person can do to reduce his or her risk for lung cancer. Learn more about how we can help you quit at quitterinyou.org.
Our Lung HelpLine, at 1-800-LUNG-USA (586-4872), is available seven days a week to answer questions about lung health and provide reliable information about quitting smoking. To learn even more about lung cancer, lung disease and how to best protect your lung health, visit lungne.org.
Working together, we can raise awareness about lung cancer, reduce its incidence and increase the number of survivors.
President and CEO
American Lung Association of the Northeast