According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer among men and women in the United States. Lung cancer is also the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, accounting for one in every five cancer deaths.
Not only in the US, lung cancer is responsible for thousands of deaths annually worldwide too. Extensive research has been done on the sharp increase in lung cancer cases globally. Multiple factors have emerged as known to cause cancer, such as smoking, smoked foods, exposure to environmental pollutants, and occupational hazards.
This article will list down ways to reduce your risk of developing lung cancer.
Avoid Exposure To Harmful Chemicals
Asbestos is a known carcinogen that was once used extensively in insulation, soundproofing, and roofing in the construction industry. Its use increased significantly during the 1940s, but it was banned from use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the late 1970s.
The EPA banned asbestos because it is a known carcinogen that can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other serious health problems. Asbestos fibers can become airborne when they are disturbed, and they can be inhaled or ingested. Once asbestos fibers enter the body, they can remain there for many years and cause damage.
While its use is now banned, asbestos is still in many buildings and structures built before the ban. If you work in a job that exposes you to asbestos, you are at increased risk of developing lung cancer. This is especially true for demolition workers, automobile workers, and firefighters. If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer after working in a job with asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to lung cancer compensation.
2. Stay Away From Tobacco
Cigarette smoke contains over 70 compounds known to cause cancer. Tobacco in cigarette smoke is a proven carcinogen and can cause lung, throat, mouth, kidney, bladder, colon, and rectal cancers.
If you’re a smoker, you can reduce your risk of getting lung cancer the earlier you quit smoking. Even if you don’t smoke directly, you can also inhale second-hand smoke from smokers around you. Maintain your distance and avoid inhaling secondhand smoke at your home and workplace.
- Check The Radon Levels Of Your Home
The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States has reported that radon exposure causes thousands of lung cancer deaths annually. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking.
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas found in soil and rocks. It can be absorbed in water and the soil and seep into homes via small cracks or holes. If not detected, radon gas can build up in your house, putting you and your family at risk of lung cancer.
This is because the radioactive particles of radon get trapped in your lungs when you inhale air with high levels of radon gas. These radioactive particles can cause damage to the DNA of the cells and tissues of the lung.
You can check radon levels in your home with a home testing kit or call an environmental specialist. They can check radon levels in your home, and if they are high, they will also provide solutions for reducing radon levels in your home.
Limit Your Exposure To Radiation
While chest X-rays are a common tool used in health assessments, they expose our lungs to harmful high-energy radiation.
The radiation waves used in radiological tests are radio-active and can damage DNA. If you’re a radiology technician, it is advised to wear a lead apron at all times, as you’re constantly in the presence of radioactive rays. These aprons are also attached to a detector, which can change color if you have been exposed to radiation over a long period.
Studies have shown an increased risk of cancers among radiological technicians, particularly among those employed before the 1950s. While occupational safety standards have improved since then, minimizing your exposure and maintaining a safe distance is still advised if your work requires working with PET and CT scan machines.
Take Preventive Measures Against Hiv
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a lethal virus that can cause permanent destruction of the immune system. A common disease among drug addicts and sex workers, it spreads via contaminated body fluids. HIV has been linked with an increased risk of cancers in the body, particularly lung cancer. This is because HIV destroys the body’s regulatory mechanisms, allowing new cells to multiply out of proportion.
For the prevention of HIV, it is advisable to avoid the use of intravenous drugs. When sharing needles or other injection equipment, there is a risk of coming into contact with blood that may contain HIV.
Maintain A Healthy Diet & Exercise Regularly
Studies have proven that exercise reduces the risk of lung cancer by 20-30% for women and 20-50% for men. While the exact mechanism requires further research, regular exercise has multiple benefits for your health. Physical activity, particularly one that requires exertion, improves lung and immune functions. It can also help you to remove the harmful chemicals you may have inhaled in the presence of other smokers.
Including leafy green vegetables and fruits in your diet can also reduce your risk of multiple cancers. A study conducted in Japan showed an inverse relation between lung cancer risk in non-smokers and consuming cruciferous vegetables such as strawberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
Modern medicine has reduced the burden of cancer mortality, with plenty of diagnostic tools to detect cancer at a very early stage. Treatment options ranging from surgery to chemotherapy and radiation are also easily accessible. However, developing healthy habits in your youth can prevent multiple health conditions.
While ‘smoking’ cigarettes or other substances may be advertised as cool, the long-term side effects on your health override the small period of happiness or calm these substances bring. It is imperative to learn about the causes of rising cancer cases and spread awareness on developing healthy habits to thrive in your later years.
James Martin is a passionate writer and the founder of OnTimeMagazines & EastLifePro. He loves to write principally about technology trends. He loves to share his opinion on what’s happening in tech around the world.