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Lung cancer is not an inevitable condition. Here’s how you can try to prevent, and thereby, reduce your risk of developing this killing disease.
The leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the United States, lung cancer is a disease in which malignant cells grow and proliferate in the tissues of the lung. This cancer is also the second most common type of cancer reported in the country, after skin cancer. However, lung cancer is a preventable disease. Lung cancer prevention pertains to the ways you can lower the chance of developing cancer as much as possible. In order to prevent any cancer from starting, you have to consider the factors that put you at risk of developing this disease as well as protective factors that can actively decrease the chances of getting lung cancer.
When it comes to cancer prevention, there are a few things that are just not in your control. Risk factors such as inheriting certain genes is not in your hand. However, there are other risk factors that increase your chance of getting cancer that can be controlled by you. The key to preventing lung cancer as much as you can is by avoiding risk factors that can be avoided, and adding as many protective factors as you can. While this does not ensure that you will never get lung cancer, it gives you the best possible chance to ward off the disease.
According to the National Cancer Institute, these are the primary risk factors of lung cancer:
While you cannot prevent lung cancer completely, you can reduce your risk as much as possible. Here are a few top tips to help you protect your lungs from lung cancer.
Cigarette smoking alone is responsible for approximately 90 percent of lung cancer-related deaths in the country. Perhaps the most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of developing lung cancer is to stop smoking. Tobacco smoking causes lung cancer deaths in 9 out of 10 men, and 8 out of 10 women who have this disease. If you think that you are lowering your risk of developing lung cancer by opting for low nicotine or low tar cigarettes, think again. Studies show that these options do nothing to reduce the risk of lung cancer. As compared to people who do not smoke, smokers are 20 times more at risk of developing lung cancer. Furthermore, studies show that this risk increases based on the number of years you have been smoking and the number of sticks you smoke every day.
Don’t Stand for Passive Smoking
You may be a non-smoker, but if you are being exposed to secondhand or passive smoke, you are also at risk of developing lung cancer. This kind of passive smoking happens when you spend time around smokers while they are smoking, and inhale the smoke that comes from a burning cigarette or that which is exhaled by the smoker. You are being exposed to all the same lung cancer-causing compounds as the smokers, albeit in smaller quantities. Statistics show that secondhand smoke exposure causes around 7,330 lung cancer deaths in non-smokers every year in the US. Don’t stand for passive smoking. Clear your home as a no smoking zone, so there are no particles of this carcinogenic smoke in your house.
Get Your Home Tested for Radon Contamination
After smoking, radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer-related deaths in the country. This naturally-occurring gas is tasteless, colorless, and odorless. These properties make it almost impossible to determine whether or not it is present in your home, at schools, and inside other buildings. As radon decays, it releases a number of radioactive byproducts that can cause cancer when inhaled. Radon can enter your home through the foundation, crawl space, cracks in the walls or floors, etc. The levels of this gas increase over a period of time. It is important to get your home tested for this silent carcinogen, and get the level corrected as soon as possible if the levels are higher than recommended.
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