The first step to stop smoking is to stop smoking. That means you need to stop smoking at least a pack of cigarettes a day.
If you quit smoking and then want to start again, don’t stop smoking again. The more you smoke, the more your risk of a relapse increases.
Secondhand smoke is probably the most common cause of lung cancer. It can be hard to get rid of the smoke, so it’s best to keep it away from you.
If you live in an area with high levels of pollution or where people are around a lot of secondhand smoke, try to reduce the amount of smoke you’re around.
If you’re exposed to secondhand smoke, you can:
- Wear a mask.
- Consider wearing a face mask when you go outside.
- Take the stairs.
- Have your windows open.
- Turn on the exhaust fan.
- Keep your doors closed when you’re inside.
If you’re exposed to secondhand smoke in a car, try to keep your windows closed and your doors closed. If you’re driving, pull over and get out of the car.
You can also open the windows and doors on your car, and keep the AC running.
The next time you’re inside, keep the windows shut and the AC running.
If you’re exposed to secondhand smoke, you can also try installing a HEPA air filter in your car.
Exposure to Particulate Matter
Particulate matter is a term used to describe tiny particles in the air.
Some particulate matter is made up of chemicals, like chemicals in cigarette smoke.
You can reduce the amount of particulate matter in the air by:
- Using a HEPA air filter
- Keeping your windows closed
- Keeping your doors closed
- Keeping your car windows shut
Warmth and Humidity
Warmth and humidity are two common triggers for lung cancer.
The more you’re exposed to humidity, the more your risk of a lung cancer diagnosis increases.
You can reduce your risk of lung cancer by trying to stay cool when you’re outside.
Warm air is the most effective way to counteract the effects of humidity.
Diet and nutrition play a big role in lung cancer prevention.
Alcohol is a common lung cancer risk factor.
Heavy alcohol use (more than 14 drinks per week) increases your risk of developing lung cancer.
Alcohol is linked with an increased risk of:
- Smoking-related lung cancer
- Non-smoking-related lung cancer
- Other types of cancer
Smoking is one of the biggest lung cancer risk factors.
You can lower your risk of lung cancer by quitting smoking.
Smoking is also linked with an increased risk of:
- Lung cancer
- Other types of lung cancer
Exercise is a lung cancer risk factor.
Exercise is an effective way to reduce your risk of lung cancer.
Exercising more than the recommended amount of exercise can increase your risk of developing lung cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that people:
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise most days of the week
- Reduce the amount of time you exercise to less than 60 minutes a week
The ACSM recommends that people do the following:
- Walk briskly for 5 minutes at a time.
- Do jumping jacks for 30 seconds.
- Talk on the phone for 30 seconds.
- Do jumping jacks for 30 seconds while seated.
- Do jumping jacks for 30 seconds with a partner.
Lung Cancer Risk Factors
Lung cancer can be linked to a number of risk factors.
Some lung cancer risk factors are:
- Cigarette smoking.
- Exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Exposure to chemical fumes.
- Exposure to air pollution.
- Heavy alcohol use.
Risk factors for lung cancer may also increase your risk of other diseases in your body. This is called comorbidity.
For example, lung cancer can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and heart disease.
Your chances of developing cancer depend on your age and gender.
The chance of developing lung cancer increases as you age.
The chance of developing other types of cancer may also increase with age.
Lung Cancer Diagnosis
Lung cancer is diagnosed in several ways.
Physical exams are the most common way to diagnose lung cancer.
During a physical exam, a doctor will check for signs of lung cancer in your lungs.
Lab tests are a way to diagnose lung cancer.
Lab tests look for signs of lung cancer in your blood, sputum, or lymph nodes.
Imaging tests can also help diagnose lung cancer.
Imaging tests use X-rays, computerized tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine your lungs.
These tests can also help find cancer if it has already spread to other parts of your body.
Tobacco use increases your risk of lung cancer.
Having close contact with someone who’s heavy cigarette smoker is a risk factor for lung cancer.
Tobacco use may also increase your risk of other lung diseases.
Diagnosing Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is diagnosed through the following tests:
- Blood tests.
- Chest X-rays.
- CT scans.
- PET scans.
Blood tests can detect lung cancer in your blood.
Chest X-rays can help determine if you have lung cancer in your lungs.
CT scans don’t require any radiation, so they’re often used to diagnose lung cancers in the early stages.
PET scans use radiation, so they’re typically used to diagnose advanced-stage lung cancers.
Biopsies are surgical procedures that remove a small amount of tissue from your lungs.
Lung Cancer Treatments
The type of treatment you receive will depend on the type of lung cancer you have.
Doctors may use a combination of treatments to help you manage your symptoms.
Surgery is the only treatment option for lung cancer.
Surgery can remove cancerous tumors from your lungs.
Doctors may remove your lung if they’re certain that you have lung cancer.
This is called a lung resection. This procedure is done in an operating room.
Doctors can remove cancerous tumors from your lungs using a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) technique.
In this procedure, doctors place a surgical tool through a small incision in your back.
What’s the outlook?
The outlook for lung cancer depends on how far it has spread.
Lung cancer is often diagnosed at a later stage. This is because it can be hard to detect early.
There are no known cures for lung cancer. But treatments can help manage symptoms and improve your quality of life.
The outlook for lung cancer is excellent when treatment begins early.
The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 87 percent.
The five-year survival rate for early-stage lung cancer is 98 percent.
The five-year survival rate for late-stage lung cancer is 27 percent.
Early-stage lung cancer also has a lower five-year survival rate.
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