While it is not possible to prevent lung cancer, a person can take specific steps to lower the risk of developing the disease. These can include maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, preventing exposure to certain chemicals, and quitting smoking.

Lung cancer is the type of cancer that doctors diagnose most often. Around 12.4% of cases of cancer worldwide are lung-related.

Like many other forms of cancer, lung cancer is a serious disease. In some cases, if people leave it untreated, it can be fatal.

This article discusses ways in which a person can reduce their risk of developing lung cancer. It also looks at the role air pollution plays in the condition, and some possible early symptoms.

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Cancer occurs when the body’s cells mutate in an unusual way. This leads to abnormal cell growth, which can cause tumors and organ damage.

Like all cancer types, lung cancer can arise without any apparent cause. However, scientists believe exposing the lungs to certain chemicals can make it more likely for lung cancer to form.

There is no way in which a person can prevent lung cancer. However, there are ways to reduce the risk of developing cancer in general and lung cancer in particular.

Below, we list some of the most important measures a person can take to aid lung cancer prevention.

1. Quitting smoking

The single most significant risk factor for developing lung cancer is smoking. According to one study, smoking tobacco causes around 90% of lung cancer cases.

Additionally, the study notes that smoking cannabis may also increase a person’s likelihood of developing lung cancer. However, there is much less research in this area, leaving scientists uncertain about the relationship between the two.

The most effective strategy to decrease the risk of lung cancer is to never start using tobacco. However, if people smoke, they can still significantly reduce their risk of developing lung cancer by quitting smoking.

It is important to note that people who experience exposure to secondhand smoke can also develop lung cancer. For this reason, maintaining a smoke-free home can help non-smokers reduce their risk of the condition.

2. Healthy diet

Following a healthy diet can play a role in lowering a person’s likelihood of developing various cancer types.

For example, research shows that a high body mass index (BMI) is a cancer risk factor, along with insufficient intake of dietary fiber and excessive consumption of processed meat and alcohol.

A diet rich in fibrous and low calorie foods, such as fruits and vegetables, may reduce the risk of developing cancer. However, clinical research has not yet substantiated this claim.

Moreover, there is currently no evidence that highly restrictive diets, including keto diets, are effective at preventing cancer.

3. Exercise

Regular exercise can help people reach or maintain a moderate BMI. In addition, a person may reduce their risk of lung cancer by engaging in various forms of physical activity.

One study reports that exercise can reduce lung cancer risk by 20–30% in women and 20–50% in men.

4. House ventilation

Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the earth’s crust. While the amount of radon found in a person’s home varies, research shows that up to 10% of lung cancer cases may be due to radon exposure.

Soil continuously releases radon, and radon levels vary depending on the composition of soil and the structure of a building. Basements and the lower levels of buildings often contain high risk levels of radon.

A person can significantly reduce the concentration of radon in their home with regular and thorough ventilation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offer advice on checking radon levels at home.

5. Avoiding workplace carcinogens

Carcinogens are chemicals that make cells more likely to become cancerous upon coming into contact with them. A person can experience exposure to carcinogens, such as asbestos, in their place of work.

Scientists believe that asbestos exposure can significantly increase the risk of developing lung cancer.

Asbestos use was common in construction for decades. Therefore, construction workers are at greater risk of exposure to this carcinogen.

People should always ensure they have appropriate protective clothing and equipment when at work if exposure to any potential harm is likely.

By eating a healthy diet, a person can lower their likelihood of developing lung cancer.

Although no foods can prevent the condition altogether, some people believe that cruciferous vegetables may be particularly beneficial for reducing the risk of developing the disease.

Among these vegetables are:

The National Cancer Institute report that while some studies have shown a positive effect of cruciferous vegetables on lung cancer prevention, many others have not. Therefore, there is no certainty about the link between the two.

There is also some evidence that curcumin consumption can reduce the risk of various cancers. Curcumin is a naturally available compound in turmeric, a popular spice that is also often an ingredient in supplements.

However, further research is necessary to examine the curative relationship between curcumin consumption and lung cancer.

Scientists are beginning to better understand the relationship between air pollution and lung cancer.

According to a 2018 study, three separate meta-analyses have shown a link between greater air pollution and a significant increase in lung cancer risk.

Although these associations are not proven, they are plausible. For this reason, moving to a less polluted area could potentially lower a person’s risk of developing lung cancer.

Early signs and symptoms of lung cancer vary. The most common ones include:

Some people may also begin to cough up blood. However, this symptom of lung cancer is less common in the early stages of the disease.

If a person is experiencing any of these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean they have lung cancer, but they should seek medical attention.

It is vital for anyone with early symptoms of lung cancer to seek advice from a healthcare professional immediately.

Even though symptoms of other conditions may resemble those of early stage lung cancer, they can develop into a serious disease. An early diagnosis could significantly improve a person’s chances of recovery.

Although it is not possible to prevent lung cancer, leading a healthy lifestyle can make the development of this condition less likely.

Engaging in regular exercise, reaching or maintaining a moderate BMI, avoiding high levels of air pollution, and using protective equipment when working in hazardous conditions can all play a part in lowering a person’s risk of developing lung cancer.

Whenever a person experiences signs and symptoms of early stage lung cancer, they should seek immediate medical attention.