Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for both men and women in the United States. Helping to prevent it, though, goes beyond quitting smoking. Lung cancer in people who’ve never smoked is increasing and more than half of people who develop it today aren’t current smokers. Here we’ll outline simple things you can do to help reduce your risk of getting lung cancer.
5 Ways to Help Prevent Lung Cancer
Men are much more likely to die from lung cancer than prostate cancer, and women are more likely to die from lung cancer than breast cancer. The six tips below can help you lower your chances of getting lung cancer:
Smoking still remains the leading cause of lung cancer, so quitting now is one of the most important things you can do. Smoking also leads to chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which are an independent risk factor for lung cancer. If you’re a former smoker, consider getting a screening test for lung cancer, which can help identify the disease early and improve your chances for survival.
Avoid radon exposure
Radon is an odorless gas that results from the decay of natural uranium in the soil beneath a home. It’s also the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall. The only way to know if your home has radon is to have it tested, either by a professional or by using an at-home radon detection device. If the levels are abnormally high, steps can be taken to get them down to normal levels.
Even moderate levels of exercise, such as simple gardening a couple of times a week, can help reduce your risk of getting lung cancer. Exercising three to five days a week is even better.
Eat a healthy diet
Diets rich in fruits and vegetables are linked with a lower risk of developing lung cancer. Try picking out a rainbow of colors, such as dark greens like spinach, red apples and tomatoes, white onions, and the orange of winter squash. Recent studies also show that variety is more important than quantity, so make it a point to mix up your choices.
Avoid secondhand smoke
Living with a smoker can increase your risk of getting lung cancer by 20-30%. Thankfully, smoking laws have made it easier to avoid secondhand smoke in public spaces.
Be Proactive About Your Lung Health
If you’re concerned about being at risk for lung cancer, make sure to see your doctor. You can also schedule an e-visit with a Baptist Health professional to connect with a provider.
Take a Baptist Health Risk Assessment to see if you’re at risk for lung cancer. If you have any questions about your results, schedule an appointment with a Baptist Health provider today.