Lung Cancer Prevention

Certainly, it's important to know how you can prevent lung cancer. As with any cancer, there are certain risk factors that you can prevent, and some that are unavoidable. The more that you work to prevent the ones that are in your power, the less likely it will be that you'll develop lung cancer.


Obviously, the largest risk factor for developing lung cancer is in your control. If you smoke cigarettes, you increase your risk of developing the disease a great deal. If you never start smoking, you decrease your risk of developing the disease a great deal. If you did smoke any tobacco products, and you stop smoking, you lower your risk significantly. Even if you cut down your smoking it may help to reduce your risk, although not as much as quitting. One study showed that by cutting your number of cigarettes in half that you smoke each day, you can significantly reduce your risk of getting cancer during a 5-10 year period.

Second Hand Smoke Prevention

Similarly, if you are in a home with a smoker, you run an increased risk of developing the disease. Studies have shown that you are 2-3 times as likely to develop lung cancer compared to someone who lives in a nonsmoking home. If you can get the people in your home to stop smoking, this will help to decrease your risk of developing the disease. Researchers think that about 25% of nonsmokers who develop lung cancer probably get it from being exposed to second hand smoke. No other cancer has risk factors that are so completely in your control. Lung cancer is unique in this way - and you can control whether or not you expose yourself to increased risk due to smoking.

Environmental Prevention

There are some cancer-causing agents in the environment that you may be able to avoid. These do not carry the same rate of risk, however, compared to smoking. Many of these cancer causing agents are found at the workplace. They include asbestos, radon, arsenic, chromium, nickel, tar and soot. These substances increase the risk of developing lung cancer for a person who has never smoked - and they increase the risk even more for someone who has smoked. Many countries are working to pass laws to control these cancer-causing agents, and others have already worked to decrease these agents in the work environment.

Diet Prevention

Studies have shown that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables may help to lower the risk of lung cancer. A diet that is heavy in alcohol may increase the risk. Studies have also shown that people who are more physically active may have a decreased risk for lung cancer, even after taking cigarette smoking into account.

Occupational Hazards

Certain occupations may increase your risk for developing lung cancer. These are occupations where you are exposed to asbestos or radon. These include mining and farming. Certainly, not everyone in these fields is at higher risk, but the risk increases in environments where people are exposed to fumes, radioactive dust or other chemicals. Taking precautions in the workplace, and asking questions of your boss can help to reduce your risk of developing lung cancer.

It is interesting to note that doctors are very interested in working on a vaccine for lung cancer. Vaccines to treat lung cancer have actually been developed already and are being tested in clinical trials at this time. Until that time, people need to take as many precautionary measures as they can to prevent lung cancer.