The most common cause of lung cancer is cigarette smoking or passive smoking. Only 10% of sufferers are non-smokers, so the most effective way to prevent lung cancer is to never take up smoking!
If you already smoke, it’s never too late to try and quit. Once you have abstained from smoking for ten years, your risk of getting lung cancer will be halved compared with others who still smoke and you are less likely to have any kind of disease from the onset of you quitting.
Smoking is addictive but there are ways to ease the addiction. Pills, chewing gum and patches are available to replace the nicotine you crave. There are support groups for people intending to quit. Just being around others who are going through the same thing can help, and you might make some new friends. One-to-one coaches are also available to mentor you if you need it.
If you are not a smoker but are subjected to passive smoking, you can reduce your risk of lung cancer by doing the following:
• Designate your home a smoke free environment. If any family member or friend smokes, ask them to smoke outside.
• When socializing, only go to venues that have a no smoking policy.
• When visiting a friend who smokes, ask that the windows be opened so that the room is properly ventilated
• If you have an ill health condition such as asthma, ask those around you to put out their cigarettes.
1% of lung cancers are caused by air pollution. This means that for every 100 people who get lung cancer, one person’s cancer will be due to breathing in polluted air. To reduce air pollution, you can:
• Take the bus, train or cycle to work instead of using a car. This will reduce fumes.
• Ensure that your employer properly ventilates your work area and follows all health and safety precautions, particularly with factory work or work with hazardous chemicals.
• If you live near a motorway, consider moving.
Exercise! Studies show that regular exercise of at least half an hour every day can reduce your risk of getting all types of cancer.
Eat healthily. Fresh fruit and vegetables, grains and raw food all contain anti-oxidants which destroy the free radicals that cause cancer.