Responsible for more than 1.69 million deaths each year, lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, according to WHO statistics. Tobacco consumption, exposure to carcinogens, air pollution, family history and poor diet are leading causes of lung cancer. There’s no sure way to prevent lung cancer, but you can reduce your risk of developing lung cancer if you adopt certain healthy habits and protective measures.
Some of these measures are:
- Don’t smoke. If you don’t have the habit of smoking, don’t start. Also, educate your children about not smoking so that they can understand how to avoid this major risk factor for lung cancer. Teach them how to handle peer pressure.
- Stop smoking, if you are a habitual smoker. Quitting reduces your risk of lung cancer, even if you’ve smoked for years. Talk to your doctor about strategies and stop-smoking aids that can help you quit. Options include nicotine replacement products, medications, and support groups.
- Avoid eating betel nuts and chewing tobacco products. Reducing alcohol intake will also help.
- Try to live in a city or a place where there is less environmental pollution. It will go a long way in protecting your lungs.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. If you live or work with a smoker, urge him or her to quit. At the very least, ask him or her to smoke outside. Avoid areas where people smoke, such as bars and restaurants, and seek out smoke-free options.
- Have the radon levels in your home checked, a radioactive gas known for causing lung cancer. High radon levels can be remedied to make your home safer.
- Take precautions to protect yourself from exposure to toxic chemicals like asbestos at work. If you’re given a face mask for protection, always wear it. Ask your doctor what more you can do to protect yourself at work. Your risk of lung damage from workplace carcinogens increases if you smoke.
- Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables. Choose a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Food sources of vitamins and nutrients are best.
- Exercise helps a lot. If you don’t exercise regularly, start out slowly. Try to exercise most days of the week.
As we mark Lung Cancer Awareness Month this November, together let’s spread awareness about lung cancer and adopt healthier lifestyles to stay safe from this deadly health condition.