There is no fool proof way to avoid developing cancer, but understanding the symptoms and causes of lung cancer is important in developing prevention measures. Moreover, early diagnosis is one of the key steps in minimising your and your family’s likelihood of developing the illness.
Giving up smoking is one of the most effective ways to lower your risk of developing cancer and improve your general well-being. Other factors, however, may also contribute to preventing lung cancer.
- Consider quitting smoking
- Avoid secondhand smoke
- Check for radon gas in your home
- Understand your family history
- Get some exercise on a regular basis
- Avoid being exposed to hazardous substances
- Reduce your chest radiation exposure
- Reduce your potential for contracting HIV
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Consult your physician about screening
- What will NOT reduce your lung cancer risk?
This page will go over some of the important steps you can consider taking to reduce your risk of lung cancer. Let us take a closer look at each one.
Consider quitting smoking
Giving up smoking is among the most effective ways to avoid lung cancer. As per the research, stopping smoking can reduce people’s likelihood of developing lung cancer by about 30% to 50% after ten years when compared to those who do not quit.
Discuss with your physician about the best approach for quitting smoking. This might require some effort and time to figure out what works best for you, but smoking cessation will improve your well-being in a variety of ways.
Avoid secondhand smoke
Secondhand (passive) smoke is smoke coming from other people’s cigars or cigarettes as well as smoke exhaled by them.
When you breathe in secondhand smoke, you are inhaling numerous harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. There are approximately 70 chemicals that have been linked to cancer and numerous other substances that are toxic in secondhand smoke. Even relatively short contact with passive smoke can be hazardous.
Check for radon gas in your home
Radon, a radioactive gas that cannot be seen or smelled, is another common cause of lung malignancies after smoking as well as one of the common causes of lung tumour in non-smokers.
This radioactive gas is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks. It can make its way inside through crack formation in the walls, floors, or foundation and percolate into the air and water supplies. Over time, it can accumulate in your home.
Understand your family history
If you have an immediate family member with lung cancer, you are up to two times as likely as individuals with no family history of lung cancer to develop the condition. This increased risk is influenced by both environmental and genetic factors.
Tell your doctor if anyone in your immediate family, smokers or non-smokers, develops lung cancer. Certain screenings may be suggested in order to reduce your risk.
Get some exercise on a regular basis
Physical activity has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of lung cancer by up to 30% in women and up to 50% in men. The more you engage in physical activity, the more it is seen as lowering your risk. Even though the experts are really not sure about the link between exercise and lung cancer, the possible reasons include:
- Improved lung function
- Better immune function
- Decreased inflammation
- Reduced carcinogen levels in the lungs
- Improved DNA repair ability
Avoid being exposed to hazardous substances
Certain chemicals can increase your risk of developing lung cancer. These are:
- Diesel exhaust
- Diesel exhaust
Your risk rises in direct proportion to your exposure level.
Reduce your chest radiation exposure
High-energy radiation, including X-rays and gamma rays, can cause DNA damage and increase your chances of developing cancer.
Specific medical interventions can cause cellular damage in the lungs, which may result in cancer. This includes:
- CT scan
- X-ray chest
- PET scan
Nevertheless, these procedures carry a low risk of cancer, and the benefits usually outweigh the risks.
Reduce your potential for contracting HIV
HIV is associated with a higher likelihood of lung cancer. In fact, research suggests it could possibly double the risk of getting lung cancer. A higher risk of lung cancer could be caused by a number of factors, including:
- People living with HIV have higher rates of smoking
- HIV causes more inflammation all over the body
- The HIV infection possesses immunosuppressive effects
Maintain a healthy diet
Your diet is also important for cancer prevention. To lessen your risk of developing cancer, consume a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits, lean protein, and whole grains.
Additionally, there are particular food products that research suggests may aid in the prevention of lung cancer, such as:
- Green tea
- Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, brussels sprouts, and broccoli
Consult your physician about screening
Routine lung screening tests may be appropriate for you if you have a relatively high risk of lung tumour due to your history of smoking and age. Screening can help in detecting lung cancer at an early stage, which can make it easier to treat.
But then again, screening is only advised for individuals with an elevated risk of lung cancer. If you believe you might be an appropriate candidate for screening, contact your physician to learn more.
What will NOT reduce your lung cancer risk?
You might have heard about other ways to reduce the lung cancer risk. A few of these methods will not work, and others may be harmful to your health. For instance:
- Beta-carotene supplements: This substance, which is found in orange and yellow vegetables and fruits as well as leafy greens, helps your body produce vitamin A. Supplementing with beta-carotene will not lessen the lung cancer risk and can even be detrimental to heavy smokers.
- Antioxidants: According to mice studies, antioxidant supplements could actually cause tumours to spread and grow. If you are predisposed to lung cancer, you should avoid taking antioxidant supplements.
- Vitamin E supplements: These supplements improve the immune system and aid in blood clotting; however, there is no evidence that they reduce the lung cancer risk.
Lung cancer prevention is vital to preserving good lung health and lowering the likelihood of getting this life-threatening disease. Understanding the causes and symptoms of lung cancer is the first step in prevention.
Although there is no guaranteed lung cancer cure, multiple treatment options, including lung cancer chemotherapy, and surgery, can be effective. Avoiding risk factors such as smoking and pollution exposure, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise can all help in lung cancer prevention. Lung cancer prevention programs and access to lung health specialists are critical for early identification and treatment.
Is lung cancer preventable and curable?
Lung cancer can be prevented to some extent by avoiding risk factors such as smoking, passive smoking, and exposure to specific environmental pollutants; however, not all cases of lung cancer are preventable, as some people develop the disease due to a genetic predisposition or other unknown factors.
If detected early, a lung tumour can be treated and possibly cured. Treatments available may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy; however, the outcome of treatment can vary depending on factors such as the stage and type of lung cancer and the patient's response to treatment.
What are the best foods to prevent lung cancer?
While no single food can assure the prevention of lung cancer, a diet high in proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may prove beneficial in keeping lung cancer at bay.
What are five ways to prevent lung cancer?
These 5 ways can help prevent lung cancer:
• Quit smoking
• Exercise on a regular basis
• Learn about your family history of lung cancer
• Reduce secondhand smoke
• Check for radon gas traces at home