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Lung Cancer- Steps to avoid this disease

Lung cancer causes the most cancer deaths in the United States, and while many people believe lung cancer only occurs in smokers, this is simply not the case. There are many causes and risk factors for lung cancer, but fortunately, many of them can be avoided or reduced. So let’s talk about the most common causes of lung cancer and what you can do to lower your chances that you or a loved one may be impacted by this deadly disease.

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Lung cancer develops through genetic changes in a person’s DNA in their cells in their lungs. Over time the genetic changes allow the cells to divide and multiply, causing cancerous tumors to develop. Claimants who suffer from lung cancer experience:

  1. Coughing

  2. Fatigue

  3. Unexplained weight loss

  4. Respiratory infections

  5. Wheezing and shortness of breath

  6. Coughing up blood

  7. Pain in the chest

Common Risk Factors for Lung Cancer

1.       Smoking

Smoking remains the greatest factor for developing lunch cancer. The risk of developing lung cancer as a smoker will depend on how many years you smoked and the number of cigarettes you smoked each day. Second hand smoke exposure can also greatly increase your risk of developing lung cancer.

Smokers who have other serious diseases such as emphysema may also have a higher risk of developing lung cancer.

2.       Exposure to toxic chemicals

Asbestos exposure historically has been a high risk factor for lung cancer. Other toxic chemicals and gases that can increase your risk of lung cancer can include nickel, chromium, arsenic and radon gas. Unsafe levels of any of these substances can increase your risk of lung cancer.

3.       Family history of lung cancer

As with many other health conditions, if your family has a history or predisposition to develop a certain condition this can put you at a higher risk as well. Getting proper medical treatment, which can include annual check-ups, can help doctors diagnose your condition before it has progressed.

4.       Unhealthy lifestyle

Whether you drink too much, don’t get enough sleep or eat an unhealthy diet, you may be increasing your risk not only for cancer but for a wide variety of other debilitating health conditions. Take care of yourself and you are giving your immune system the best possible chance to fight against lung cancer.

Can I get SSDI for lung cancer?

If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer there are two ways you can win Social Security Disability Benefits (SSI and SSDI): meeting a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments (Blue Book) or proving through a medical vocational allowance that you do not have enough residual capacity to work.

Lung cancer is evaluated under Section 3.0 Respiratory System, listing 3.02 Chronic Pulmonary. If you do not meet the listing you will have to prove your condition is so severe you cannot work. This can be tough for SSDI and SSI claimants who are very young, but less so for SSDI and SSI claimants over the age of 55, especially if they have only done heavy physical labor and are no longer able to perform this work.

If you have applied for SSDI or SSI and have been denied you can contact a disability lawyer for help.
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