Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer for people in the United States and it’s more lethal than other forms of cancer. While it is not always possible to completely prevent the disease from developing, there are tips you can follow to prevent lung cancer.
Don’t Smoke, or Quit if You Do
As smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, accounting for 80 to 90 percent of all instances, not smoking is one of the best ways to prevent the disease. If you do smoke, you can decrease your risk by quitting smoking now. Not smoking or quitting smoking can lower your risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, which dramatically increases your risk for lung cancer.
Check Your Home for Radon
Checking your home for radon is essential to preventing lung cancer. Radon is the top cause of the disease in people who don’t smoke and second leading cause of lung cancer in general. It is a gas that is odorless and that occurs as a result of the decay of uranium in the soil underneath a home. There is also a smaller risk of radon exposure from granite countertops. However, that which comes from the soil beneath your home is far more of a risk.
Be Aware of Dangerous in the Workplace
Certain types of jobs can increase your risk of lung cancer in the future. Occupational hazards such as asbestos, arsenic, nickel and chromium can raise the risk of developing the disease. If you are a smoker, the risk is even greater. Your employer should always provide you with the necessary safety equipment if you work around any of these substances.
Avoid Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer if you are continuously exposed to it. Generally, lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke accounts for 3,000 cases in the United States annually. If you live with a smoker, your risk is further increased by 20 to 30 percent. Avoiding your exposure and making smokers in your household limit their habit to outdoors can decrease your risk.
Avoid Air Pollution
If you live in or visit an area that’s known to have significant air pollution, you might want to wear a face mask whenever you’re outdoors. Although it’s a minimalistic step, it can help to reduce your risk for lung cancer.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Certain household products, unfortunately, contain harsh chemicals that can put your health at risk. Be aware of them by carefully reading labels and only buy products with natural, safe ingredients. You should also avoid using a fireplace because the wood smoke can increase the risk of lung cancer as well.
Know Your Family History
It’s important to know your family history. If there is a history of lung cancer, especially if a parent, sibling or child has had the disease, it increases your risk of developing the disease as well.
Incorporating a regular exercise routine and sticking to it can also help to prevent lung cancer. Regular activity at least three or four days per week or simply walking for a half-hour to an hour each day can lower your risk.
Following these tips can help you to lower your risk of developing lung cancer and will also keep you healthier and happier overall.