Many lifestyle choices can reduce your risk of lung cancer and encourage early screening.
Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). By quitting smoking, you can reduce your chances of developing these devastating illnesses.
1. Stop smoking
Maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise and getting screened for lung cancer are all effective ways to reduce your risk of developing this disease. But the most effective way to completely protect against lung cancer is quitting smoking.
Lung cancer is the most prevalent cancer in America, claiming nearly 132,000 lives annually. It also ranks as the leading cause of cancer death among non-smokers; and exposing your family members and loved ones to secondhand smoke increases your risk for developing lung cancer as well.
Smoking can have a significant impact on someone’s health, such as shortening their life expectancy and raising the risk of heart disease. It also causes breathing issues which may lead to other life-threatening conditions like emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
To help you quit smoking, speak to your doctor about medication options, support groups and early detection screenings for lung cancer. They may also suggest alternative tobacco products that will make quitting easier.
Quitting smoking requires a strong commitment, but it is achievable. The sooner you make that commitment, the greater your chances of success.
Begin your quitting journey by creating a list of reasons why. Keeping this list close by will provide motivation to stay away from cigarettes.
When you feel the urge to smoke, take a deep breath and count to 10 slowly. Following that, drink some water; this will trigger endorphins which help your body combat cravings.
Another way to combat the urge is by keeping some healthy snacks nearby. Eating these foods may help quench your desire to smoke and fill you up, making for a satisfying feeling afterwards.
You could even set yourself a reward to look forward to when you reach your quitting goal. This can help keep you motivated and prevent feeling depressed if you don’t succeed at quitting the first time around.
A low-dose CT scan is an effective screening for lung cancer, and the American Cancer Society recommends that smokers 55 or older receive this test annually. Early detection of cancer can reduce morbidity by 20%.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Smoking is the leading risk factor for lung cancer, and quitting is the best way to lower your chances of getting it. Other ways you can lower your chances include eating a nutritious diet, making healthy lifestyle decisions and taking preventive measures.
The American Lung Association recommends a nutritious diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean protein. Eating these foods not only helps you shed pounds but they are also packed with fiber and essential nutrients that boost immunity.
Vegetables and fruits are packed with antioxidants that help combat free radicals in your body. Studies have even demonstrated that people who eat more produce tend to experience lower rates of lung cancer than those who don’t.
Many foods contain lycopene and beta carotene, which may help protect against lung cancer. These nutrients can be found in carrots, winter squash, apricots, mangoes, as well as other fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, helping protect cells from free radical damage within the body. Additionally, it boosts your immunity so that you’re better equipped to fight infection and disease.
Foods high in vitamin C, like citrus fruit and red and green bell peppers, can protect your lungs by increasing the amount of oxygen taken in with each breath. They may also strengthen your immune response to make you more resistant to cancerous growths.
Another essential nutrient is Vitamin E, which has been known to reduce your risk of lung cancer by 55 percent. You can obtain this vital nutrient from various foods like nuts, seeds and peanut butter.
Maintaining a nutritious diet can not only make you feel better and manage stress better, but it may also contribute to the development of lung cancer. Limiting saturated fats and sugar consumption are other helpful measures as well.
It is wise to limit your exposure to areas known for having unhealthy air quality. This is especially crucial if you have a family history of lung cancer or are an avid smoker.
3. Exercise regularly
There are many steps you can take to reduce your risk of lung cancer, such as quitting smoking and eating a nutritious diet. But for maximum impact, start by getting regular exercise and making healthier lifestyle decisions.
Exercising is an integral part of living a healthy lifestyle, helping you reach or maintain a healthy body weight. Additionally, it builds strength, provides energy and reduces stress.
Adopting the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week can have a tremendous effect on your wellbeing. Not only does it improve heart health, prevent future issues from arising and enhance quality of life, but it may also enhance mental clarity as well.
Exercise not only improves sleep quality and energy levels, but it may also decrease the risk of depression. Even if you don’t have time to fit in a full workout, taking short walks or stretching every hour adds up over time.
Start by finding something you enjoy doing and making time for it. Try playing a sport, joining an organized club or team, doing chores around the house or spending quality time with family and friends. Whatever it is, find ways to make it count!
A successful workout routine should incorporate all four types of exercises: endurance, strength, balance and flexibility. Varying your routine keeps you interested and helps prevent injury.
To achieve success with your exercise routine, it’s important to plan ahead and have all necessary equipment available. Utilizing fitness trackers or other gadgets for tracking progress can also prove beneficial.
In addition to regular exercise, it’s essential to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. These foods contain powerful antioxidants as well as other essential nutrients that may protect against lung cancer.
Studies have revealed that people who consume a high amount of fruits and vegetables tend to have lower rates of lung cancer. This could be because these foods provide essential nutrients like vitamin C, folate and beta-cryptoxanthin.
These nutrients repair lung cell damage caused by cigarette smoke and other carcinogens. Furthermore, they may slow down the progression of lung cancer.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with phytoestrogens, which may reduce your risk of breast cancer. According to one study, a diet consisting largely of these nutrients cut the likelihood of lung cancer in half.
4. Get screened
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer among both men and women (after breast cancer), yet it claims the lives of 160,000 Americans annually.
That is why it is essential to take steps to reduce your risk of lung cancer. The most effective way to do this is quitting smoking and eating a nutritious diet. Furthermore, getting screened for lung cancer early can greatly increase your odds of beating this illness.
Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer, so it’s important to quit as soon as possible. Quitting will drastically reduce your chances of getting this disease and enable you to live a longer, healthier life.
Eating healthily and exercising regularly can reduce your risk for lung cancer. A diet consisting of plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and low-fat dairy is essential to good nutrition for optimal health benefits.
Exercise is important, but so too should keeping stress levels low and getting plenty of rest each night. Doing this will boost your immunity and lower the likelihood of developing diseases such as lung cancer.
If your family has a history of lung cancer, discuss screening options with your doctor. The more information you can provide them, the better they will be able to determine an appropriate course of action.
A high-risk screening test for lung cancer is a low-dose CT scan that can detect small nodules or other abnormalities in your lungs. This quick and painless scan takes only 15 to 20 minutes, helping your healthcare provider detect and treat lung cancer before it causes serious harm.
Lung cancer can be a devastating disease that robs you of your ability to breathe. It makes breathing difficult, causes fatigue and makes everyday tasks challenging.
No, lung cancer is treatable and preventable. However, certain factors such as smoking or having certain inherited genes may increase your risk for developing the condition.
If you smoke, consider getting a low-dose CT lung cancer screening to detect and treat this disease early. Even if you don’t smoke, there are still ways to reduce your risk of getting lung cancer by avoiding exposure to air pollution, asbestos, and other toxins. Eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and getting enough sleep each night can all help keep you healthy while fighting off diseases like lung cancer.