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Lung Cancer: Prevention

Quitting Smoking

The best way to prevent lung cancer is to not smoke. Those who have never smoked have the lowest risk of lung cancer. Those who smoke can reduce their risk of lung cancer by stopping smoking, but their risk of lung cancer will still be higher than people who never smoked. 

Quitting is not easy.  But counseling, the use of nicotine replacement products (such as gum, patches, sprays, lozenges, or inhalers) and antidepressant therapy have all helped smokers quit for good.

In a person who has quit smoking, the chance of preventing lung cancer depends on how many years and how much the person smoked and the length of time since quitting.

Exposure to Environmental Factors

Factors such as air pollution, and such chemicals as radon and abestos, have been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer.  Reduce your exposure to air pollution whenever possible. Most hardware stores have kits that test home radon levels, and basements can be ventilated to reduce radon exposure. And people who work with asbestos in jobs, such as shipbuilding, asbestos mining, insulation or automotive brake repair, should use protective breathing equipment to reduce the risk.

Eating More Fruits and Vegetables

Studies show that eating a lot of fruits or vegetables may help lower the risk of lung cancer.

Exercising

Current research study results have been mixed about whether exercising or being physically active lowers the risk of lung cancer. Some studies have shown that people who are physically active have a lower risk of lung cancer even if they smoke.

Last updated: 5/21/2010 4:28:56 PM