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Showing posts from February, 2016

Don’t Take Your Breath Away: Lung Diseases and What Causes Them

By Rachael Metzger, MSS Intern

The lungs are one the most important organs in the human body, so keeping them healthy should be a priority. Unfortunately, lung disease a leading cause of death in the United States, kills roughly four million people every year. Serious lung diseases might seem unpreventable, but in actuality, most are indeed preventable. The most common cause of lung disease is smoking, with many deaths also resulting from secondhand smoke. When inhaled, tobacco smoke travels from the mouth through the upper airway and into the alveoli. As the smoke moves deeper into the body it is absorbed and particles are left behind in the airways. These particles contain carcinogens (cancer causing agents) and toxins, which put people at risk for disease when present in any part of the respiratory system.

Lung diseases resulting from smoking, such as lung cancer, are the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States. This means that the extremely high numbers…