According to the American Cancer Society, more people die of lung cancer than from colon, breast and prostate cancers combined every year. However, this doesn't have to be the case.
Our team at Parkridge Medical Center wants you to know how you can improve your lung health and lower your risk of lung cancer.
Lung Cancer 101
Lung cancer occurs in the lungs, and the most common cause is smoking. More than 200,000 people living in the United States are diagnosed with lung cancer each year.
Although there are some risk factors that you cannot change, there are some things you can do to lower your risk of developing lung cancer. Let's take a look at the facts:
Lung Cancer Risk Factors
There are certain known factors that increase your risk of developing lung cancer, including:
- Secondhand smoke
- Exposure to other substances like asbestos and diesel exhaust
- Family history of cancer
- Radiation therapy to chest
Lung Cancer Prevention
While there is nothing you can do about your family medical history, you are able to make lifestyle changes to lower your risk.
If you are a smoker, you need to stop smoking as soon as possible. When you quit smoking, not only do you decrease your chance of getting lung cancer, you also improve your overall health, lowering your risk of other conditions, including heart disease and stroke.
If you are looking for a program to assist you with quitting smoking, talk with your doctor, who can recommend cessation strategies based on your individual needs.
In addition to quitting smoking, improving your diet can also help lower your risk of lung cancer. Foods like red grape juice, dark chocolate and blueberries contain resveratrol, which has known cancer-fighting properties.