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Lung Cancer - Ways You Can Prevent It!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Piyush Goel 92% (25 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine, FNB-Critical Care Medicine
Pulmonologist, Gurgaon  •  16 years experience
Lung Cancer - Ways You Can Prevent It!

Lung cancer is caused by disorderly growth of uncommon cells which line the air passage, usually starting off in a single or both lungs. The irregular cells do not mature into healthy lung tissue but instead divide speedily and result in tumor formation.

Causes behind lung cancer:

  1. Smoking: This is considered as the most significant source of lung cancer. As reported by multiple researches and studies, cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals, most of which are cancer causing agents. Active smoking is one of the major causes of lung cancer but what may come to you as a surprise is that extended periods of passive smoking is also a major factor.
  2. Pollution and Exposure: There is high risk of lung cancer development when there is occupational exposure to pollution by chemicals released from industrial factories. Chemical exposure of this kind refers to prolonged exposure over quite few months or years. Some examples of these chemicals are asbestos, diesel exhaust among many others.
  3. Radioactive Gas: Radioactive gases naturally occur in small masses present in all soils and rocks. However, if you breathe in radioactive gases your lungs will damage and may cause the development of abnormal tissue which can cause lung cancer.
  4. Family history: A family history of cancer, especially lung cancer will also put you at high risk of developing lung cancer.

Treatment methods of lung cancer:

  1. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a method in which drugs are injected through veins in your arm (intravenously) or orally or in a combination of both. These drugs kill cancer cells and help to stop it from spreading any further as well.
  2. Clinical Trials: These trials are experimental lung cancer treatment studies. You may have to try out this clinical therapy if other treatment methods aren’t working and only if you are accepted into it.
  3. SurgeryA surgeon will help remove affected areas of the lung including cancerous tumors via surgery. The surgeon may need to remove parts of the lung along with the cancerous growth. In certain cases, one side of the lung may also be completely removed to stop the spread of the malignant tissue.
  4. Radiation TherapyThis is a therapy where high energy electromagnetic waves are passed through your body to destroy cancer cells with the help of high-powered energy beams.

Can you prevent lung cancer?

  1. Nutrition -- A  healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables may also help reduce your risk of lung cancer. Some evidence suggests that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may help protect against lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers. But any positive effect of fruits and vegetables on lung cancer risk would be much less than the increased risk from smoking.
  2. Exercise -- Even moderate amounts of exercise can aid in lung cancer prevention. Studies suggest that even something as simple as gardening twice a week is associated with a lower risk of developing lung cancer.
  3. Smoking Habits -- If you stop smoking before a cancer develops, your damaged lung tissue gradually starts to repair itself. No matter what your age or how long you’ve smoked, quitting may lower your risk of lung cancer and help you live longer. 
  4. Avoidance of Air Pollution -- Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and, in particular, particulate matter with absorbed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other genotoxic chemicals has been suspected to increase the risk for lung cancer. So, avoid air pollution as much as possible.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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