Preventing Lung Cancer - What You Need to Know

The most common causes of lung cancer are smoking and exposure to asbestos. However, physicians can’t always explain why someone develops lung cancer and there are several risk factors that can be avoided. In addition to quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to asbestos, there are several things you can do to prevent lung cancer and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Your physician can discuss many of the risk factors of lung cancer during a health consultation. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of lung cancer, make sure you schedule an appointment with a physician so that they can perform a chest X-ray and other tests to determine whether a tumor is present.

Lung Cancer Prevention Tips

There are several things you can do in your everyday life to prevent lung cancer. Known risk factors include the use of tobacco products and working or living in an environment with high levels of asbestos, chromium, radon, nickel and tar.

Some of the things you can do to prevent lung cancer, include:

1. Quitting smoking. Studies show that smoking is among the leading causes of lung cancer, and those who stop smoking and never start lower their risk of developing any type of lung cancer. Avoid smoking cigarettes, and consider using nicotine patches, nicotine gum or nicotine inhalers to help you quit successfully.

2. Avoiding inhalation of secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer, because you are still being exposed to cancer-causing agents in the cigarette or other tobacco products. Avoid “passive smoking” to lower your risk of lung cancer.

3. Be aware of cancer-causing agents and compounds in your daily environment. Some workplaces, including construction sites and poorly-maintained office buildings, have high levels of asbestos, radon, soot, tar, nickel and other toxic chemicals.  Make sure you are aware of the toxicity level of your workplace environment, and take steps to reduce exposure to these harmful compounds whenever possible. You can have your home tested for radon, a radioactive gas that can be very harmful to your health.

4. Improve your diet. Studies suggest that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables can lower the risk of lung cancer. Take inventory of your diet and make sure you are eating at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. Leafy green vegetables, and fruits high in antioxidants can support a healthy immune system and may ward off disease and certain cancers.

5. Avoid exposure to air pollution. Learn about the level of pollution in your city and take steps to avoid excessive exposure to polluted air. If you work at a construction site or airport, take steps to wear a mask and cover up your skin to avoid toxicity and contamination.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute, but there are several ways you can prevent its development. Make these changes to your lifestyle to lower the risk of developing lung cancer, and get a medical evaluation from your physician to determine whether you are at risk.