February is National Cancer Prevention Month. Veterans are unfortunately at a high risk of cancer if they were exposed to toxic substances like asbestos while they served. Read on to find out how you can do your part in the fight to end cancer this National Cancer Prevention Month.
Raising Awareness for National Cancer Prevention Month 2022
National Cancer Prevention Month is designed to help people understand what measures they can take to reduce their cancer risk. It is also a great time to share cancer prevention information.
Sadly, there’s no way to entirely prevent cancer, but taking steps to reduce risks can help. This includes making healthy choices, scheduling regular doctor visits, and following routine cancer screening guidelines.
Additionally, raising awareness about cancer risks is an excellent way to ensure everyone does their part in creating a cancer-free world.
It is especially important for veterans to participate in National Cancer Prevention Month since they’re at a higher risk of several cancers, including those stemming from asbestos exposure.
Asbestos-caused cancers include:
If you or a veteran you love has an asbestos-caused cancer, get a free veterans packet today to learn about treatments and financial aid that can help.
Preventing Asbestos-Caused Cancers in Veterans
Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent asbestos-caused cancers like mesothelioma.
The only way to prevent these cancers would have been to not be exposed to asbestos in the first place. Sadly, veterans did not know that asbestos could cause cancer while they bravely served the country, putting many at irreversible risk.
However, there are still ways to prevent other forms of cancer from developing and reduce further risk in those already exposed to asbestos.
How Does Asbestos Exposure Cause Cancer?
Asbestos fibers are microscopic and highly durable. When the fibers are inhaled or swallowed, they can get stuck in the body for decades.
Unfortunately, over the course of time — usually decades — asbestos fibers can irritate healthy tissue and eventually lead to mutations that cause cancerous tumors to form.
Those exposed to asbestos can develop many different forms of cancer. However, not everyone who is exposed to asbestos will get sick.
Why Are Veterans at Risk of Asbestos-Related Cancers?
Veterans who served between the 1930s and early 1980s are at a greater risk of asbestos-caused cancers. This is because the U.S. military relied heavily on asbestos-based products during this time in vehicles, buildings, ships, and other military assets.
Alarmingly, the cancer risks of asbestos exposure were hidden from the military and general public by manufacturers of asbestos-containing products. These companies put their own profits ahead of human lives.
Any U.S. veteran exposed to asbestos could develop cancer later in life, but veterans at the highest risk are those who worked around asbestos regularly.
Participating in National Cancer Prevention Month
Participating in National Cancer Prevention Month is a great way to honor those affected by cancer. It is also a critically important way to raise awareness and ensure cancer research gets the attention it needs until a cure is found.
During National Cancer Prevention Month and beyond, there are many ways to reduce cancer risks. Learn about just a few of these options below.
Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Smokers who were also exposed to asbestos are at an even higher risk of asbestos lung cancer.
Quitting smoking can help reduce the chances of developing lung cancer later in life.
Talk With Doctors
If you were exposed to asbestos, even if it was decades ago, make sure to inform your doctor.
Doctors can help you make a plan to stay as healthy as possible. If you were exposed but aren’t showing symptoms of asbestos-related cancers, see if you can get a preventive cancer screening.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) also recommends preventative screenings for current or former smokers aged 50 or over.
While doctors may not be able to prevent asbestos-related cancers, they can help ensure you are taking all measures to catch cancer before it spreads.
The more time that goes by before cancer is diagnosed, the harder it becomes to treat. Further, treatment options become limited as cancer progresses.
Don’t delay. Veterans can pursue free or low-cost doctor visits if they have VA Health Care.
Spread the Word
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, and others who have been exposed to asbestos may not know the risks.
Simply sharing information during National Cancer Prevention Month about asbestos-caused cancers and how to stay safe can go a long way in helping those at risk.
It’s important to talk with other people you know, especially veterans or others who worked around asbestos regularly.
Take Action and Reduce Your Cancer Risks this Month
While it may not be possible to totally prevent asbestos-caused cancers, knowing about the dangers and taking preemptive action can help reduce your risks.
Take action during National Cancer Prevention Month 2022 for yourself and others who are affected or lost their lives to this devastating illness.
Our team can tell you more about asbestos-related cancers like mesothelioma. We can talk with you about how you can access VA benefits, medical care, and financial aid if you’ve been diagnosed.
Work with fellow veterans, mesothelioma nurses, and skilled attorneys: call (855) 928-1907 right now.