If your check-ups have fallen off your to-do list, you’re not alone. In 2020, many Americans delayed visits for routine medical care due to the pandemic. As a result, important tests, like lung cancer screenings, went down by more than 50% from the previous year.
To help address this, Merck has partnered with Lung Cancer Foundation of America, GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer and Lung Cancer Research Foundation to remind people how important it is to get their health back on track, especially if something isn’t right. There are certain symptoms you shouldn’t ignore, such as an unexplained, persistent cough lasting more than three weeks or shortness of breath. While these can be symptoms of other health conditions, they can also be signs of lung cancer, especially if you are already at risk for the disease.
While anyone can get lung cancer, your risk goes up if you are over 50 years old and currently smoke or smoked in the past, have been around secondhand smoke or have a family history of disease, such as a parent or sibling. These are not all risk factors for lung cancer.
If you’re at risk for lung cancer and have an unexplained, persistent cough lasting more than three weeks or shortness of breath, don’t gloss over it. Talk to your doctor today.