Breathe In, Breathe Out: Better Lung Health for You

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Wondering when it’s time to be screened for lung cancer? If you’re over 50, ask yourself if you meet at least one of the following criteria: 

  • You’re a current smoker with a 30 pack-year history or more, or have quit in the past 15 years. 
  • You have a history of cancer.
  • You have family members who have had lung cancer. 
  • You have been exposed to hazardous materials such as radon or asbestos. 

If any of the above conditions applies to you, it might be time to consider a lung screening. Luckily, Gateway Hancock Health provides lung scans for only $99, and you don’t need a physician’s referral to get one.

Taking care of your lungs

In the meantime, there are plenty of ways to take care of your lungs and practice good lung health.

  • Get regular exercise. Breathing harder during exercise encourages lung function. They’ll work harder to bring oxygen into your system while expelling carbon dioxide, keeping your lungs in top working order. 
  • Prevent infections. Infections can be particularly dangerous for lungs as you age, so it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid illness. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your mouth or face. Stay up to date on your vaccinations and get a flu shot as well. 
  • Breathe deeply. Deep breathing helps clear the lungs and creates more oxygen exchange throughout your body. If you’re the type of person who typically breathes shallowly, take the time to take a few deep breaths every now and then, or do breathing exercises. This will improve your overall lung heath and function. 

There’s no time like the present to check in with yourself and give your lungs the attention they deserve. Take a few deep breaths and thank your lungs for all they do for you this Lung Cancer Awareness Month!

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