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How do I Lower my Lung Cancer Risk?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2016
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There are some things that can be done to lower lung cancer risk. Some of these are easy to control, and others might take some work or investigation. Humans are daily exposed to a number of pollutants that may increase risk of lung cancer, but it isn’t always possible to prevent such exposure. The best bet is to lower risk as possible by avoiding certain things, and engaging in behaviors that have shown they may be involved in reduced risk.

The number one risk factor for lung cancer is smoking. Exposure to second hand smoke also does nothing to lower lung cancer risk and instead increases it. The bottom line is that people who smoke should quit to reduce their risk. They should also never subject others to breathing second hand smoke, particularly at close range. Those who live with a smoker should insist upon smoking occurring outdoors only, well away from any open windows. Avoiding work environments where exposure to second hand smoke is constant reduces risk too.

Certain types of jobs that expose people to inhalation of chemicals may raise lung cancer risks, like asbestos or others. Someone must work these jobs and it is fortunate that many people now use special breathing equipment to reduce exposure. It’s important when working on jobs that require use of respirators or breathing apparatus to be fully trained on how to use this equipment and to never work without it.

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Some chemicals exist in homes that may elevate chances of developing lung cancer or other forms. These include radon and asbestos. Of these chemicals, radon is most dangerous, and it doesn’t have an odor so people may not ever realize it exists in their home. It is possible to test for it, and to have someone who specializes in radon elimination remove it. Removing as many unsafe chemicals from the home as possible may significantly lower lung cancer risk.

Some indication exists that foods people eat and drinks they consume may raise or lower lung cancer risk. Drinking alcohol in excess, more than one drink a day, may increase risk of a variety of cancers. Eating food high in saturated fats hazards may also elevate changes of getting cancer.

Eating a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables may best help people. In particular the consumption of cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli are linked to a reduced lung cancer risk, even among smokers. Consuming three to five servings of these vegetables a week may lessen chances of getting lung cancer by about 40%. Fruits and vegetables with carotenoids, such as oranges, carrots, tangerines, and peaches, have also been shown to be effective in reducing chances of developing lung cancer by approximately 25%.

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