Take the pledge to quit smoking this Lung Cancer Awareness Month

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Take the pledge to quit smoking this November with assistance from GPs, Quit Smoking Doctors Coffs Harbour

This Lung Cancer Awareness Month, take the pledge to stub that last smoke and begin a whole new healthier life.

Quitting smoking can be a daunting task, perhaps one of the most significant decisions of your life. However, quitting smoking is easier if you plan well, and the best way to start your journey is with the help of a doctor.

Lung cancer is a complex disease and if not diagnosed early, it can be fatal. The worst thing about this disease is that it grows rather silently, meaning by the time you can see the signs and symptoms, the cancer might have already grown.

Thankfully, we know the major cause of lung cancer – the use of tobacco. 

Tobacco contains over 7000 types of chemicals including carcinogens that are known to cause cancers, and the use of tobacco blocks the natural flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our body causing a myriad of health issues including lung cancer. 

Thankfully, we know the major cause of lung cancer – the use of tobacco.

The best way to protect yourself from lung cancer is being aware of your risk factors and seeking medical assistance from your doctors.

It is also important to be aware that anyone can get lung cancer, even if they have never smoked. If you have any lung cancer symptoms and they are persistent, talk to your GP immediately. Consider undergoing screening tests even when you do not fall into any risk factors.  

However, the biggest cornerstone to your healthy lungs is not smoking or quitting to smoke if you already are. 

What are the risk factors of lung cancer?

Smoking tobacco remains the biggest risk factor causing lung cancer. But, other risk factors can lead to lung cancer even if you haven’t smoked before.

There can also be a combination of risk factors leading to lung cancer and some people who get the disease may have few or no known risk factors at all. 

Risk factors that you can change

1) Smoking tobacco – Smoking causes not only lung cancers but is a leading risk factor to causing a majority of the cancers. The risk of lung cancer for smokers is significantly higher than people who don’t smoke.

2) Exposure to radon and asbestos – People who work in environments like mines, textile plants, shipyards and some specific industry are at a greater risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer due to exposure to asbestos and radon.

Studies have shown that mine workers have a higher mortality rate of lung cancer, probably due to higher exposure to radon.

3) Exposure to other chemicals and agents – Some workplaces have higher exposure to carcinogens (the cancer-causing agents) such as radioactive ores, diesel exhaust, silica, arsenic, mustard gas, ethers and other chemicals and agents. 

Risk factors that can’t be changed

1) Family history of lung cancer – If you or anyone from your first-degree family have  the previous case of lung cancer, you’re at a higher risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Although scientists have found that genes are one of the determining factors of causing lung cancer, but the amount it impacts still needs more research.

2) Air pollution – Air pollution increases your risk of getting lung cancer, although its risk when compared with smoking, is less. 

With the help of your GP, it can be easier to quit smoking

If you are considering to quit smoking, visiting a GP will be the best first step, Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Seeing our doctors could be your first best step when considering quitting smoking. Our doctors have a special interest in smoking cessation and have effectively assisted many patients in Coffs Harbour.

When planning your cessation programs with us, our doctors will conduct a quick physical check-up keeping in mind the details of your current medical conditions and previous medical history.

Read through to know how our Northside Health doctors can help you stub out that last smoke.

1)Prescribe a Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Nicotine is the addictive substance found in tobacco that causes people to continue to smoke.

Its replacement therapy aims to reduce that addiction and reduce your withdrawals that occur when you stop smoking.

They can prescribe this therapy in many forms including patches, tablets, gums or inhalers.

2) Prescribe medications to reduce/prevent withdrawals

GP’s can prescribe medications like Bupropion to help reduce the effects of withdrawals. These medications work by blocking the nicotine receptors in the brain that makes smoking less enjoyable.

Only your doctor can decide if these medications are suitable for your use and determine the appropriate dose and how often they can be consumed.

3) Acupuncture for smoking cessation

At Northside Health, we also incorporate Acupuncture in smoking cessation, and we have had great success in reducing the cravings and lessening the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting.

Unlike medications, acupuncture comes with no side effects and our patients have seen benefits with improved sleeping and mood. 

4) Provide personalised counselling and support throughout the cessation program

Our doctors will assist you with counselling along with providing ongoing pharmacotherapy to encourage smoking cessation. 

We can also help with behavioural support including providing referrals to a counselling group or a tobacco treatment specialist if deemed required.

Smoking cessation with our Coffs Harbour doctors

So, for anyone in Coffs Harbour, if you’re planning to quit smoking and not sure where to start, we advise you to visit our smoke-free clinic.

We provide specialist smoking cessation support to patients who smoke.

You can book for an online appointment or call us at (02) 6652 5322 for further information.