Lung Cancer Prevention
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the U.S., and has one of the highest fatality rates of all cancers. Lung cancer develops when cells in the lungs begin to grow in an uncontrolled manner. Instead of undergoing a normal cell death, the cancer cells outlast the normal cells, invade adjacent tissues, and then spread to other parts of the body.
The majority of lung cancer cases can be attributed to tobacco smoking, and unfortunately non-smokers who inhale the smoke of others are also at increased risk. In addition, exposure to certain carcinogenic substances, including asbestos, radon, metals, and coal products in the workplace or at home can increase the risk of lung cancer. Furthermore, a medical history of tuberculosis and some types of pneumonia, a family history of lung cancer, and certain dietary habits may increase the risk of developing the disease. In contrast, other dietary factors may play an important role in the prevention of lung cancer. The best way to fight lung cancer naturally is to prevent the development of this serious disease in the first place.
Not smoking is the most effective way to avoid getting lung cancer. Studies show that smoking tobacco products in any form is the major cause of lung cancer. People who stop smoking and never start again lower their risk of developing lung cancer. Many products, such as nicotine gum, nicotine inhalers, nicotine patches, or nicotine lozenges, may be helpful to people trying to quit smoking. Some antidepressant drugs, such as Wellbutrin, have also been known to help smoking cessation.
Studies show that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables may help lower the risk of lung cancer. Research suggests that eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet, including at least five portions a day of fresh fruit and vegetables and plenty of whole grains, can help reduce your risk of lung cancer, as well as other types of cancer and heart disease. In addition, in a research review published in 2009, scientists found “limited to moderate evidence” that the consumption of green tea, which is rich in antioxidants, may reduce risk of lung cancer.
Studies show that people, who are physically active, engaging in moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, may have a lower risk of developing lung cancer, as well as other types of cancer, than those who are not, even after taking cigarette smoking into account.
Have the radon levels in your home checked, especially if you live in an area where radon is known to be a problem. High radon levels can be remedied to make your home safer.
AVOID CARCINOGENS AT WORK
Take precautions to protect yourself from exposure to toxic chemicals at work, as well as following your employer’s precautions. For instance, if you’re given a face mask for protection, always wear it. You can also ask your doctor what more you can do to protect yourself at work.
There’s no one sure way to completely prevent lung cancer, but there are ways you may be able to lower your risk by reducing your exposure to known cancer-causing chemicals. Smoking cessation, avoiding second-hand smoke, diet, exercise, radon checks, and using protective equipment when around dangerous substances and pollutants are all ways to help decrease your risk of developing lung cancer.