I have recently been in communication with a wonderful lady, a Mesothelioma survivor, a mom and a blogger – Heather Von St. James. She shared her story with me and believe it or not, it was some interesting coincidence since I have a very close friend whose father is in the last days of this earthly life due to the same cancer Heather won a battle with.
This is how I came to know that October is nominated as Healthy Lung Month by Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. This month they are approaching bloggers around the world to raise awareness for lung health and I gladly decided to participate. Here is a great infographic on general lung health and Mesothelioma (click to enlarge) :
Growing up in a household with a father who smoked heavily, we have always been exposed to the second hand smoke. That didn’t stop me or my sister from trying our hand in this addictive habit. I was quite lucky to rid of it when I did – when I later read about the risks that second and third hand smoke cause, I have become very serious about not having myself, and down the road – my family, exposed to it.
However, while there are some obvious “dangers” we can avoid, there are also elements in the nature and technology that can affect us gravely but the harm won’t be discovered until much later in life. Such is the Asbestos – a very poisonous mineral whose byproducts affect our lung lining. This exposure causes a very painful and very hard to treat cancer called Mesothelioma Cancer. There are other risk factors that can cause Mesothelioma, however Asbestos is known to be the primary one.
I remember as a child we used to hang out A LOT at the construction sites. And play with materials there. So, as a matter of fact, I could possibly be exposed to this mineral as well if it was in fact used in those construction sites (I can only hope and pray I didn’t! It’s been close to 30 years ago and the length of latency is anywhere between 10 and 40 years!).
How can we, as parents, ensure the lung health in our children? Here are a few ideas I came up with after reading all the information in lung diseases and lung cancer:
1. By all means, do not allow your children to be in very close proximity to construction materials which might or definitely contain Asbestos. It refers to city constructions and shipyards.
2. If you works at a construction site or in the shipyard, take preventive measurements, such as wear masks, cover your skin and hair, change your clothes before going back home (since the elements tend to get stuck to those and you may inadvertently carry Asbestos byproducts back home to your loved ones!)
3. Avoid smoking and exposing yourself and your family to smoke.
4. If you live in areas with high air pollution, get an air purifier and avoid being outside during the days with heavy pollution (or wear masks!)
5. Air out your house from time to time. And keep it as dust free as possible.
6. Getting some plants, like aloe or cactus, will help with keeping the air in the house cleaner.
7. Go for full body checks at least once a year and keep an eye on getting strange and unusual symptoms.
8. Don’t delay going to the doctor if you or your children get sick. Diagnosis the disease and deciding on a course of treatment will help prevent complications.
9. Go out with your children, take them to grassy areas with trees, if possible. It will not only promote general health, but will also help them get in touch with the nature.
10. Swimming is know to help strengthen the lungs. Go swimming!
11. Exercise. Even a mild exercise and walking give you more chances for improving health.
I am sure there are many more preventive measures to ensure lung health you can list. So please, share them with me!
I wish you all health!