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Wednesday, October 4, 2006

October is Healthy Lung Month

Everyday we take for granted our ability to breathe -but it's not that easy for millions of people with lung diseases. October is Healthy Lung Month and a great time to learn more about the lung diseases that affect more than 30 million Americans.

Cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, asthma, and chronic bronchitis are just some of the lung diseases you may have heard of. Being short of breath can make everyday activities seem like a chore rather than an enjoyment. Consider this: have you ever gone outside on an extremely cold, frigid, windy, winter day and the wind just slaps you in the face with such force and shock that you actually feel like you've lost your breath and you can't breathe? This is how some affected by a lung disease feel -everyday.

So how can you keep your lungs healthy? What can you do to help raise awareness of these lung diseases? Well, if you smoke the first place to start is to STOP SMOKING and/or avoid secondhand smoke. More than 87 percent of lung cancer cases as well as most cases of emphysema and chronic bronchitis are caused by tobacco smoke. And for those with cystic fibrosis, smoke and secondhand smoke further compromises their lungs. I hope this does not sound like an anti-smoking message. But the evidence speaks for itself. Smoking is BAD.

Of course, exercise is an excellent way to keep your lungs healthy -give them a good workout!! If your lungs are already compromised don't despair! There are still exercises you can do -just consult with your physician first before starting any exercise program or routine.

You can also make a difference by raising awareness. One lung disease of special interest to us has always been cystic fibrosis (CF). This is one disease we'd like to see disappear! Yet, you'd be surprised not many people have heard of CF. Sadly, we've even come across some physicians that didn't know what it was or how to test for it! Those with CF can and should still exercise but ultimately they will need a lung transplant to survive. So how can you help? An excellent resource for cystic fibrosis information and awareness activities is the Lungs for Life Foundation.

Another great way to get involved during the month of October is to purchase your cystic fibrosis awareness, organ donation awareness, transplant awareness, survivor and co-survivor jewelry at Crystal Allure Beaded Jewelry Designs. Remember, your purchase of our designer awareness jewelry will benefit a selected charity. What better way to get involved than to show your support AND look fabulous!!!

-Lungs for Life Foundation
-American Lung Association


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