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Lung Cancer Prevention – 8 Tips To Reduce Your Risk

Lung cancer is the type of cancer that affects the lungs. It is most common in Smokers but it could occur in Nonsmokers too. Lung cancer is the most common cancer that occurs worldwide and is the leading cause of death too. 

Cancer begins when the cells in the body grow uncontrollably. Lungs are the spongy organs present in the chest. When you breathe you inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. 

Incidence of Lung Cancer in India

In India, Lung cancer is the most common cancer and could be observed equally in both sexes. In India itself, around 7 percent of new cancer cases are of Lung Cancer. 

Screening, early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Lung Cancer are very important to prevent morbidity and mortality (disease or death ) from Lung Cancer. 

Although there is no sure shot way for Lung Cancer Prevention, reducing the risk factor could be helpful well as Lung Cancer Prevention exercise and Lung Cancer Prevention diet is helpful in reducing the risk factors.

Types of Lung Cancer 

There are two types of Lung Cancer 

  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Small-cell Lung Cancer

1 . Nonsmall cell lung cancer – Most lung cancer, that is around 85 percent of cancer is Nonsmall cell lung cancer. The types of NSCLC are – 

Adenocarcinoma – This is the common type of cancer seen in women and people of young age. It is frequently observed in current smokers or those who smoked cigarettes in past, but it could be observed frequently in nonsmokers too. 

It occurs in the outer part of the lungs and has an early diagnosis. Due to its early diagnosis before spreading to other parts of the lung this type of cancer has a good prognosis and could be treated well.

Squamous cell carcinoma – These days, squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of cancer that commonly develops in the central area of the chest region. It is most common in people with a history of smoking and current smokers. 

Large cell carcinoma – This is the less frequent and rarest type of cancer. It only accounts for 10 percent of lung cancer cases. It can develop anywhere in the lung area. This type of cancer grows very fast, spread rapidly thus prognosis is not that good for this type of cancer. 

2. Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) 

This cancer grows very fast, spread rapidly to the lungs. This is frequently seen in smokers. Since it grows very fast, it has a poor prognosis. Thus early diagnosis is important in this type of cancer. However, this cancer spread to other sites very fast and was discovered and diagnosed after they have spread. 

Causes of Lung Cancer 

One of the major causes of Lung cancer is Cigarette Smoking. The majority of Lung cancer could be observed in Cigarette smokers. However, the secondary smokers who although are not smoking themselves but are exposed to smoke for a long period could also develop Lung Cancer. 

When you smoke cigarettes, you inhale the cancer-causing substances that damage the normal cells present in the lungs ultimately it leads to the development of cancer.

Lung cancer could also be due to other risk factors such as Air pollution, exposure to diesel exhaust. 

People who work in mines, mills are more likely to develop and die of lung cancer due to prolonged exposure to asbestos. 

The other causes are inhalation of certain chemicals like arsenic, coal products for a long duration, frequent radiation exposure, and exposure to radon gas. 

Risk factors 

Having a risk factor such as smoking could be changed to prevent the risk of developing Lung cancer. But some people may develop lung cancer with very little or no risk too. Thus it is important to get screening done from time to time and keep a check on the symptoms of lung cancer to get prompt treatment on time. As well as Lung cancer prevention exercise and diet is helpful in reducing the risk factors a bit.

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Signs and symptoms of lung cancer are common and get unnoticed until the disease progresses. A few common symptoms are – 

  1. Prolonged coughing 
  2. Cough that stays for more than 2 weeks or more 
  3. Worsening of cough 
  4. Coughing with a small amount of blood 
  5. Chest pain while breathing or coughing
  6. Hoarseness of voice
  7. Frequent chest infections
  8. Fatigue
  9. Weakness
  10. Unexplained weight loss
  11. Feeling tired all the time.

Helpful – Chemotherapy FAQ

8 tips for Lung Cancer Prevention 

1. Keep yourself away from Tobacco or Smoking 

Smoking is one of the leading causes of Lung cancer. If are not smoking don’t start, and if you are smoking you must quit it immediately. If are young or adult it doesn’t matter smoking could lead to the development of lung cancer at any age and at any point in time. 

You must also make your children aware of the dangers of smoking and must inculcate them not to start smoking at any point in time.

2. Avoid Secondhand smoking

If you are not smoking, but are in close contact with smokers you must urge them to quit smoking and you must avoid exposure with smokers. Ask them to smoke outside the office, house, or restaurant.

3. Avoid chemical carcinogens at the workplace 

You must take good precautions to prevent yourself from exposure to toxic chemicals. You must wear a proper mask to prevent inhalation of toxic chemicals or gases at your workplace. 

Tips for Lung Cancer Prevention

4. Lung Cancer Prevention Diet 

Diet plays a very important role in reducing the development of cancer in the body. A Diet with a good amount of fruits and vegetables is important to get the best nutrition. A healthy diet keeps the body fit and healthy. 

According to the Journal of Nutrients intake of up to 100 grams of fresh fruits reduce the risk of lung cancer among current and previous smokers up to 5 percent.

Consuming fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants such as dark green leafy vegetables, fish help in getting the right amount of nutrient thus helpful in the prevention of Lung cancer.

However, there are no specific fruits and vegetables that are helpful in the Prevention of lung cancer. Eating a nutrient-rich balanced diet is proven quite helpful.

5. Lung Cancer Prevention Exercise 

If you can’t exercise daily you must try to exercise for at least 5 days a week. Start your workout routine slowly and gradually increase the time for exercise. 

According to studies conducted it is found regular physical exercise reduces lung cancer risk by 30 percent in women and 50 percent in men. 

Regular exercise improves the proper functioning of the lung, reduces the amount of inflammation, regularizes breathing and improves the immune system. 

You must give at least 30 minutes from your day for any type of physical activity. You must also take advice from your doctor about the level of exercise you could do based on your overall health.

6. Check Your Home And Workplace For Radon 

Radon exposure at the workplace or home is the second most common cause of Lung Cancer. Radon test at home or workplace is important. If the radon levels are high a Radon mitigation specialist would help in guiding about the same. 

7. Prevent occupational risk exposure 

Occupational risks like exposure to Arsenic, Asbestos, Radon increases the risk of Lung cancer. Employers must try to provide safety to their employers at their workplace. The employee should be provided with a respiratory mask for better prevention from chemicals and toxins. 

8. Prevent intake of Supplements 

To date, there are no supplements available that could prevent Lung cancer. Thus you must always take supplements if you have a nutritional deficiency that too under the guidance of your healthcare provider. 

However, rather than taking supplements, it is advised to have a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet.

Screening and Diagnosis 

With the advancement in science and technology, from time to time Screening could help in diagnosing Lung cancer at an early stage. If you have a history of smoking, or you are currently a smoker or you are at risk of developing lung cancer you could get timely screening done to prevent Lung cancer. Screening doesn’t prevent the development of Lung cancer but it could help in the early diagnosis of cancer.  

Annual screening is recommended if you are in middle age, smoke around 15 packs or more of cigarettes yearly, or even if you have quit smoking but have a history of heavy smoking in past. 

Screening is even recommended for people who are at risk of developing cancer at their workplace. Early Screening is helpful in Lung Cancer Prevention upto much extent .

Treatment of Lung Cancer 

Treatment of cancer completely depends on the stage of cancer, types of cancer, your overall health, and any other associated medical condition. If you have one or more symptoms of lung cancer that are worsening with time you must consult your doctor immediately.

The types of treatment provide are – 

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Targeted drug therapy 

Know More – Top 10 Oncologists in India

Supportive care for people with Lung cancer 

People who have lung cancer often experience various signs and symptoms along with treatment side effects. Supportive care is important to improve their quality of life. Supportive care along with standard care is proven helpful not only in minimizing symptoms but also such patients have survived more than those who have received only standard care.

 

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