According to the American Lung Association, “lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the U.S.” In their studies, American Lung Association estimates that over 158,000 people will die from lung cancer in 2015, which will account for roughly 27 percent of cancer deaths this year.
There are many contributing factors that can result in the formation of lung cancer. There is no guaranteed way of preventing cancer, but there are precautions you can take to help decrease the chances of developing lung cancer.
If you’ve never smoked before, don’t start now. If you are a smoker, then quit! Statistically, smoking leads to somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of lung cancer deaths for both men and women. The odds of contracting lung cancer decrease dramatically when smoking is not a factor.
Avoid Secondhand Smoke
While secondhand smoke is not as hazardous as smoking directly into your lungs, it still plays a large role in many lung cancer patients. If you are frequently in contact with others who do smoke, find ways to avoid inhaling secondhand smoke. In some cases, you may want to reevaluate your relationships with those who frequently smoke.
Test for Radon
While smoking accounts for up to 90% of lung cancer cases, radon comes in second with up to 10% of lung cancer cases. Radon is a radioactive chemical that occurs naturally; it is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. You can have your home tested for high radon levels, and if these levels are too high, you can have the situation remedied.
The remaining lung cancer cases are typically associated with exposure to harmful carcinogens as a result of exposure at one’s place of work. If you work with toxic chemicals, make sure you are taking necessary precautions to protect yourself from these carcinogens. Talk with your doctor to determine what else you can do to protect yourself on top of the work-mandated guidelines.
Diet and Exercise
Again, even extremely healthy individuals can have cancer; some causes are beyond our control. However, a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise is always a smart decision. You’ll have more energy, but you’ll also decrease the chances of contracting other life-threatening diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Don’t do any favors for cancer. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke, have your home tested for high radon levels, protect yourself from carcinogens if necessary, and engage in healthy living with a proper diet and plenty of exercise. While these precautions will not offer you complete protection from cancer, you can decrease the odds of being diagnosed. For more information about lung cancer, be sure to visit Alaska CyberKnife at Providence Cancer Center .