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8 Ways to Prevent Lung Cancer

8 Ways to Prevent Lung Cancer

According to the World Health Organization, around 30-50% of all cancer cases are actually preventable. And lung cancer is one of them. So knowing how to prevent lung cancer is vital to ensuring our future lung health.

Lung cancer is considered a self-inflicted disease, with cigarette smoking being the cause of 80-90% of lung cancers in men and 70-80% in women.

Secondhand smoke has also shown adverse effects on the health of non-smokers. But there are ways to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer.

Here’s how to prevent lung cancer

Avoid smoking

Lung cancer is considered a smoker’s disease.

Studies show that 90% of lung cancer cases can be linked to someone with a history of smoking.

Did you know that every time you smoke, you inhale toxic chemicals like nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar into your lungs? These chemicals damage your lungs and create mucus that prevents your lungs from cleaning itself. These harmful chemicals cause your lung tissue to become inflamed.

Smoking also causes your lungs to age at a faster rate. You can be 21-years-old, but have the lungs of a 50-year-old. If you want to prevent lung cancer, not smoking cigarettes is the first step.

Even if you are a long-time smoker, there are various programs that can help you quit the habit. Once you stop smoking, before cancer can even develop, damaged lung tissues can slowly repair themselves.

Avoid secondhand smoke

Did you know that more than half of the people who get lung cancer are non-smokers? Not smoking itself does not prevent you from being at risk.

Secondhand smoke also causes various health complications such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, allergies, chronic inflammation, pneumonia, bronchitis, and other respiratory infections.

You will have to avoid smokers as well to protect your health. The Philippine government recognizes the risks of secondhand smoking and has implemented safety measures for the protection of the public. The Tobacco Regulation Act prohibits public smoking, but provides designated smoking areas for smokers.

Eat a healthy diet

Studies show that eating a healthy, balanced diet reduces your risk of developing lung cancer.

If you’re looking to get started on a greener and cleaner diet, here are some superfoods you can add to your meal plan:

  • Apples
  • Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Fish
  • Red pepper
  • Spinach
  • Chicken
  • Onions
  • Butternut Squash
  • Wheat Germ
  • Arugula
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Wasabi
  • Turnips

Limit alcohol intake

Living a healthy, balanced lifestyle also means limiting alcohol intake. Alcohol has been classified alcohol as a “carcinogen.”

Carcinogens stimulate or speed up the growth of cancer cells. As such, alcohol should be consumed in moderation.

Drink green tea

Studies done by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health show that drinking at least one cup of green tea a day increases immunity and reduces your overall risk for lung cancer.

Green tea is known to have antioxidants that prevent damage by cancer cells.

Exercise regularly

Incorporating any type of physical activity into your daily routine will always benefit your health.

Exercise has been proven to lower the risk of lung cancer in both sexes. It can also improve the survival rate and quality of life of those who have been diagnosed with the condition. Even simple exercises can greatly help in reducing cancer risk.

Avoid carcinogens at work

Some employees have a higher risk of exposure to carcinogens because of the nature of their work and their work environment. Examples of occupations with a high risk of cancer are mining and welding. Occupational hazards are estimated to contribute to up to 29% of lung cancers among men.

One way to lower your risk of exposure to carcinogens at your workplace would be to follow the safety measures such as wearing personal protective equipment that is required by the Department of Labor and Employment especially for those who have hazardous chemicals in their workplace.

Replace chemical-heavy cleaning products at home

Certain household chemicals may have carcinogens that can increase the risk of developing lung cancer, if not used properly.

You may replace these chemical cleaning products with organic homemade cleaners. Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice are some of the more popular natural alternatives that have been proven to be effective cleaning agents.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to preventing lung cancer, simple lifestyle changes can do wonders, from committing to a healthier diet and lifestyle to minimizing the use of chemicals in the home and office. And despite factors such as genetic predisposition, following tips on how to prevent lung cancer can significantly reduce your risk of developing this condition.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Cancer Prevention https://www.who.int/cancer/prevention/en/ Accessed 27 March 2020

Lung Cancer https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lung-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20374620, Accessed 27 March 2020

Nutrition and Lung Cancer Prevention https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/patients/treatment/stay-healthy/prevention, Accessed 27 March 2020

Cancer Prevention with Green Tea and Its Principal Constituent, EGCG https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5824026/, Accessed 11 April 2020

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Written by Nicole Alexine Florendo on Apr 13, 2020
Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, M.D.
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