November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Although those who smoke have the greatest risk of lung cancer, even those who have never smoked can get it. Here are some ways you can reduce your risk of lung cancer.
Don’t Smoke, Stop Smoking, or Avoid Secondhand Smoke
Because those who smoke are at a greater risk of developing lung cancer, you should not smoke. If you have never smoked, make sure to keep it that way. Even secondhand smoke from others around you can be detrimental to your lung health. Avoid areas where people smoke. If you live with someone who smokes, urge them to quit or at the very least smoke outside.
Even if you have smoked for years, quitting greatly reduces your risk of developing lung cancer. If you have tried to quit in the past or are recently considering it, you may want to talk to your doctor about strategies and/or aids to help you quit for good.
Test Your Home for Radon
Smoking isn’t the only way you can develop lung cancer. Get your home tested for radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is a radioactive gas that forms when uranium, thorium, or radium (radioactive metals) break down in rocks, soil, and groundwater. This contaminated air can come into your home through cracks and gaps. If you breathe in radon, the radioactive particles can get trapped in your lungs and over time increase the risk of lung cancer.
Whether in your home or at work, limit your exposure to cancer-causing agents. If you work with toxic chemicals at work, make sure you are following the safety procedures put in place by your employer. For example, if it is required you wear a face mask, not only should you wear it, but it should fit properly, sealing around your mouth and nose. If you smoke, the inhalation of any carcinogens will greatly increase the risk of you damaging your lungs.
Have a Healthy Lifestyle
From exercise to eating a diet full of fruits and veggies, a healthy lifestyle can have many benefits. Make sure you are eating foods that are a good source of vitamins and nutrients. Along with some sort of regular exercise- it doesn’t have to be anything high impact- will help improve your overall health.