Lung cancer is a specific type of cancer that forms in or on the lungs and affects hundreds of thousands of people every year. The National Cancer Institute estimates that as many as 226,000 new lung cancer cases have developed so far in the year 2012, and more than 160,000 deaths have been attributed to lung cancer so far this year as well. While lung cancer is not completely preventable, there are certain things that you can do to decrease your risk of developing lung cancer in your lifetime. If you have a history of lung cancer in your family and you want to do everything that you can to prevent developing this disease, you should take the following preventative measures:
Avoid secondhand smoke
Have your home tested for radon
Avoid carcinogens, especially at work
Live a healthy lifestyle
Smoking significantly increases your risk of developing lung cancer and is the main risk factor for developing this painful and deadly disease. Among those who were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007, smoking was considered the main cause of the disease in 80% of women and 90% of men. Additionally, women who smoke are considered to be 13 times more likely to develop lung cancer than women who don’t. Male smokers are at even more of a statistical disadvantage and are 23 times more likely to develop the disease than non-smoking males. If you currently smoke, it is important for you to give up the habit if you don’t want to become a statistic.
Avoid Secondhand Smoke
Even if you don’t smoke yourself, you are still at a higher risk for developing lung cancer if you are around those who do. Secondhand smoke is not as harmful as direct smoke, but it can also contribute to the development of lung cancer. It is best to avoid people and areas that put you at risk for inhaling secondhand smoke if you want to decrease your chances of developing this disease.
Have Your Home Tested for Radon
Radon is one of the most dangerous carcinogens because you can’t smell it, taste it, or feel it. Because it is practically impossible to detect without the right tools, it could be a silent resident in your home without your knowledge. Radon is a potent carcinogen, and can put you at significant risk for developing lung cancer. If you have never had your home tested for radon, you should do so for the safety of yourself and your family.
Avoid Carcinogens, Especially at Work
You can’t always control your work environment, but if you are around chemicals and potential carcinogens while at work, you should do everything to keep yourself properly protected. Carcinogens contribute to every form of cancer, including lung cancer, and they should be avoided wherever possible. Always wear a face mask and protective clothing when dealing with harsh cleaners and carcinogens while in the workplace.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Those who eat healthy foods and regularly exercise are less likely to develop various ailments and diseases, including lung cancer. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to give your body the nutrition that it needs, and exercise regularly to give your body the best chance of avoiding lung cancer and other diseases.