Preventing lung cancer is the focus this November during Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung cancer is the number one cancer that kills men and women. Lung cancer is not just a problem for smokers. It affects many people due to a number of different factors. You can take steps to protect yourself from lung cancer starting today.
- Stop smoking and don’t start. The best way to prevent lung cancer is to not smoke or use any tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, or any other smoke-able substances.
- Stay away from second-hand smoke. Choose restaurants, events, and locations that are designated smoke-free. If others are smoking around you, move away from them or ask them to move. Do not underestimate the danger of second-hand smoke. Never allow smoking near children.
- Reduce your possible exposure to radon. Have your home and work place tested to be sure you and your family are not being exposed.
- Avoid hazardous work-place chemicals such as asbestos, uranium, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, silica, vinyl chloride, nickel compounds, chromium compounds, coal products, mustard gas, chloromethyl ethers, and diesel exhaust.
- Limit exposure of your chest to radiation from X-rays, CT scans, and other sources. Never avoid a necessary test, but don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about safe exposure limits. Learn more about our Radiation Right initiative.
- Avoid areas with high air pollution. Even though only 5% of lung cancer cases are due to outdoor pollution, any measure of prevention is important.
- Know your family history. You are more susceptible to lung cancer if you have a family history. So if you do, take all precautions to prevent it.
- Eat a healthy diet rich in produce. Eating more fruits and vegetables has been shown to help prevent lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers.
- Do not take beta carotene supplements if you are a smoker; evidence has been found that increased levels of this nutrient in smokers has actually increased cases of lung cancer.
- Get educated and be aware. Learn all you can about your personal risk and how to protect your family.
The more you know, the better protected you will be. Spread the word about lung cancer this November. For more information, visit us online at Medical Center Arlington. You can learn more about lung cancer or schedule an appointment with our Cancer Care team to learn more about prevention and treatment.