7 ways to effectively prevent Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed worldwide. Lung cancer is the most common cause of death in India.
1. Quit Smoking:
Smoking is the most risk factor for lung cancer. People who are exposed to second hand smoke are also at the risk of lung cancer. Sometimes, lung cancer also occurs in people who never smoked and in those who never had prolonged exposure to second hand smoke. In those cases, there may be no clear cause of lung cancer.
Smoking causes lung cancer by repeatedly damaging the cells that line the lungs. The cigarette smoke contains hundreds of cancer-causing chemicals(carcinogens).
If smoking is stopped even after smoking for many years, the chances of developing lung cancer can be reduced significantly.
2. Protection from second hand smoke:
Second hand smoke is a major risk factor for the non-smokers. Living with a smoker increases the risk of developing lung cancer by 20% to 30%.
Smoking laws by government are helpful to avoid second hand smoke. To further reduce the risk
A- Opt for smoke free hotels, restaurants and cab services.
B- Visitors at home should not be allowed to smoke.
C- Kids should be taught about second hand smoke and how to avoid it
3. Test home and offices for Radon:
Radon is an odourless gas that is emitted from decaying natural uranium in the soil.
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall.
There are qualified specialists which can be contacted to perform radon mitigation of homes and offices.
4. Reduce the occupational risks:
On job exposures can be minimized by
1) Reading the protocol document stating the risk of exposure in detail.
2) To wear mask as per protocol.
5. Eat more fruits and vegetables:
A fruits and vegetables are of great help in lowering the risk of lung cancer.
According to a recent study published in the journal “Nutrients” reported that a daily increase of 100gms of fresh fruit reduced the risk of lung cancer by 5% in smokers and 4% in former smokers.
Prior studies have even suggested that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may have a protective effect in women and men who have never smoked.
6. Limiting the intake of Alcohol:
There are many studies depicting the harmful effects of alcohol. In the “American journal of epidemiology”, there was a review revealing that the heavy consumption of beer or hard liquor is associated with an 11% increased risk of lung cancer compared to not drinking.
7. Regular exercise:
Regular exercise has a protective effect for lung cancer.
According to a recent study from the city of hope national medical centre, routine physical activity can reduce the lung cancer risk by 20% to 50% in men. The benefits appear to increase in tandem with the intensity and duration of exercise per week and extend to both smokers, never smokers and former smokers.
Dr. Chandragouda Dodagoudar
Director & HOD – Medical Oncology