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Steps To Preventing Lung Cancer

By Gray Rollins

Lung Cancer Prevention

Did you realize that approximately 10% of lung cancer patients have never in their lives smoked cigarettes? When asked about lung cancer prevention, most people will tell you that the easiest way to prevent lung cancer is to never take up the dangerous habit of cigarette smoking. And while it's true that smoking often leads to lung cancer, the fact that 10% of lung cancer patients are not now nor have ever been smokers cannot be easily explained.

Cancer in its simplest definition is the potential end result of a mutation or alteration that occurs within a gene. And sometimes, there is just no way to stop (or prevent) a gene from changing, nor is there a way to control the genes you inherit. When one gene in particular, the epidermal growth factor receptor gene, undergoes a mutation, the mutation is such that it basically gives the green light for cancerous cells to grow and also to divide. Such a situation is totally unavoidable.

Unfortunately, taking lung cancer prevention steps won't eliminate your chance of developing today's number one cause of death. That's not to say that it's okay to continue certain risky behaviors. You should take whatever steps you can to control the risks in your life. Not smoking, wearing a seatbelt, driving responsibly, and avoiding drugs and alcohol are all ways to control risk.

The Risks You Can Control

Even though lung cancer prevention is not guaranteed, there are ways to keep the risks associated with developing lung cancer to a minimum. Let's take a look at some environmental factors.

Probably the best lung cancer prevention tip (besides not smoking) is to stay away from sources of passive smoke like burning cigarettes and exhaled smoke. Second-hand smoke in the long-term can do as much damage as first-hand smoke. When you breathe second-hand smoke, those dangerous chemicals still enter your respiratory system, although in weaker levels. If you live with a smoker or you spend a lot of time with one, ask that person to smoke outdoors or somewhere where you won't have to inhale their smoke.

Try to stay away from the environmental pollutants that can cause lung cancer. These include asbestos, coal, soot, arsenic, nickel, chromium and radon. Use of asbestos has been banned in the United States, however it is still present in buildings and materials that were manufactured before its use was banned and in countries that have not passed such legislation. Anytime there is the possibility that you might come into contact with asbestos or the other pollutants listed above, be sure to wear a mask and take whatever other protective measures you can to limit the amount you inhale.

Moving to the suburbs may not prevent lung cancer, but there is evidence of a correlation between cites with major air pollution problems and increased rates of lung cancer.

Life is full of choices, but when it comes to lung cancer prevention the choices you make could mean the difference between life and death, so choose wisely!


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