Want to quit smoking? Talk with a workplace oncology nurse navigator from Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work, who can direct you to smoking cessation resources such as the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout. The annual event, being held this year on Thursday, Nov. 19, is your chance to join others across the country as they quit smoking and reduce their risk for cancer.
Cancer does not stop occurring during a pandemic. That's why you are encouraged to consider a screening for lung cancer during November, which is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. If you are concerned about getting a cancer screening at this time, contact your facility to find out the practices and protocols that it is following to help keep patients and providers safe.
A lung cancer screening, done using low-dose computed tomography, takes only a few minutes and is not painful. During the screening, you lie on a table and the CT scan makes detailed images of your lungs. The results can help find cancer early, when it's small and may be easier to treat.
Who should be screened? The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends yearly lung cancer screening for people who meet three criteria:
- Have a history of heavy smoking, and
- Smoke now or have quit within the past 15 years, and
- Are between 55 and 80 years old
Heavy smoking means a history of "30 pack years" or more. A pack year is smoking an average of one pack of cigarettes per day for one year. A person could have a 30 pack-year history by smoking one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years.
Find out more about lung cancer symptoms and treatments and how you can minimize your risks by visiting the Cancer Types section of the Work Stride website.
Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work is a program designed specifically to meet the needs of employees who want to be proactive in preventing cancer, and those who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis or caring for someone with cancer. It also has information designed specifically for supervisors on how to best support employees through a cancer journey.
If you are an employee currently undergoing cancer treatment, you are welcome to attend a free monthly remote support group. Group meetings often include expert guest speakers discussing meditation, nutrition, sleep, staying safe during COVID-19, and a host of topics to support you in managing your health during cancer treatment.
Your workplace oncology nurse navigators can answer any questions you may have regarding lung cancer, support groups, and more. Contact them at 844-446-6229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.