Lung cancer is a disease of uncontrolled cell growth in lung tissues. This growth may lead to metastasis, which is the invasion of adjacent tissue and infiltration beyond the lungs.
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world that can affect anyone and it is difficult to treat. But the good news is that lung cancer is also one of the most preventable types of cancer. By following these tips, you can significantly reduce your risk of getting lung cancer.
1. Avoid tobacco smoke
The first and the most effective way to prevent lung cancer is to avoid tobacco smoke. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, accounting for 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer cases.
If you’ve never smoked, don’t start, and if you do, stop smoking as soon as possible. According to the National Cancer Institute, people who can quit smoking reduce their chances of developing lung cancer by 30 to 50 percent.
Read also: 9 best tips to help you quit smoking
2. Avoid secondhand smoke
Non-smokers who inhaled secondhand smoke are exposed to the same cancer-causing agents as smokers, although in smaller amounts. Inhaling secondhand smoke is called passive smoking.
If you do not smoke, try to avoid areas where people smoke, such as bars and restaurants, and seek out smoke-free options. If you live with a smoker, urge him or her to quit. At the very least, ask him or her to smoke outside.
3. Check your home for radon gas
Radon is a radioactive gas that is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. It is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. If you live in a home with high radon levels, you are at higher risk of developing lung cancer.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S.
Because radon is invisible, the only way to determine whether you and your family are at risk of high radon exposure is to test your home. You can purchase a radon test kit for your home, or hire a radon detection specialist to check it for you.
4. Protect yourself from carcinogens
If you work around carcinogens, like asbestos, arsenic, and benzene, be sure to wear a mask and other protective gear, such as gloves, goggles, long-sleeved shirt, and pant, to minimize your exposure to these cancer-causing substances.
5. Eat a healthy diet
Research suggests that eating a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of lung cancer as well as other types of cancer.
6. Regular physical activity
Some evidence suggests that regular exercise can lower the risk of developing lung cancer.
A review from 2011 on physical activity and lung cancer prevention concluded that routine physical activity can reduce the lung cancer risk by 20 to 30 percent in women and 20 to 50 percent in men. The reasons behind this effect are believed to have improved lung function, reduced inflammation, and the enhanced ability of the body to repair damaged DNA in lung cells.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of the two.