To a lot of literary folk, November is National Novel Writing Month, a month where amateurs and professionals write an entire novel within the span of a month. Thanks to technology, November is also National Blog Posting Month, which requires participants to write a post every single day of November.
These literary artists can easily be pictured hard at work at their desks. Desks that are often cluttered with cups of coffee and cigarette butts. That’s the quintessential image of a creative artist. Which brings us to the fact that November is also Lung Cancer Month. Lung cancer – a disease often caused by cigarette smoking.
Yes, you know where we are headed, but we promise not to preach. We only hope to raise awareness and offer a helping hand. So we are sharing a few facts about lung cancer and its related issues.
The Small Things
First, smoking is not the only cause of lung cancer. Being a cancer, it has a host of causes that we know of and yet several to be confirmed and discovered. Here is what we do know (minus the complicated sciency talk):
- Tobacco, cigarette and pipe smoking – all increase chances of cancer
- Passive smoking too
- Symptoms include long-lasting cough, a cough that keeps getting worse, repetitive respiratory infections (like pneumonia and bronchitis), shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain and coughing blood
- It is not uncommon to have none of these symptoms when diagnosed with lung cancer. If you’re concerned, get checked by your GP
- Exercising helps circulate blood better, improves overall immunity and fights cancer growth
- Green tea has properties that fight cancer cells
- Eating more fruits, dark green veggies (like lettuce and even cabbage) are gooood
- Turmeric is your secret weapon
- Water is wonderful. Drink up!
- Beans are queens
The Big Gesture
- Leading a healthier lifestyle by eating healthier and exercising is a great way to keep lung cancer – and any cancer – at bay. Another way to fight lung cancer is to quit smoking. (Not preaching. Not judging. Just stating a fact.) So here are tips to help you work towards that ultimate goal:
- Have a good reason to quit. You need to really want to quit to carry it off. It needs to mean a lot to you to give you that motivation and will power. Example, if you have kids and don’t want passive smoking to harm them. Or if the idea of having to undergo chemotherapy scares you
- Counselling can help. Telling friends and family about your plan to quit will help too. Their encouragement and the professional help of a counsellor makes for good support
- Going cold turkey is not a good idea. Smoking is a physical, psychological and chemical addiction. It needs a gradual cessation to work, so you can manage the withdrawal symptoms
- Visit your doctor. Get pills to manage the physical withdrawal that your body will experience. Nicotine patches and lozenges are also a good idea
- Use mind tricks! Often, a smoking habit is paired with an activity like drinking or clubbing, to avoid anything that triggers the urge to smoke. You may have to change your lifestyle a bit and avoid your smoke buddies initially. You can hang out with them again at a later stage.
- Use more mind tricks! Whitewash your house so it doesn’t smell like a smoker’s apartment. Wash clothes sheets and tablecloths that smell of smoke, send curtains and carpets to the drycleaner. Get rid of the past and start afresh!
- It’s okay if you relapse. It’s normal, actually. It takes a few tries before you’re able to kick the habit entirely, since it’s such a strong addiction.
- Exercise! It’ll help you deal with weight gain from quitting and will keep you fit. Even an evening stroll is great.
- With the latest move by India to deter smokers by not just making cigarettes more expensive, but attempting to ban the sale of loose cigarettes, making it more expensive for smokers to feed their habit, your kicking the habit will be that much sweeter for you. use the money you save to reward yourself for your willpower and adherence to a healthier life.
Have a story about the time you tried to quit smoking? Share it with us in the comments below!