Lesser Known Tips About Lung Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

Posted by Samantha Powell on February 26th, 2014 |

News Headline: Lesser Known Tips About Lung Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
Date: 2/26/14
Outlet Full Name: About.com
Author: Lynne Eldridge

February 2014 marks National Cancer Prevention Month, and you may have heard tips for preventing cancer on TV, over the radio, and online. If I asked anyone what they would do to try and prevent lung cancer, I’m sure the answer would be “don’t smoke.”

While it’s important to talk about smoking when it comes to lung cancer, I’d probably bore most of you with information you have already heard a thousand times or more. So I’ll share tips here beyond smoking.

How important are these tips? Keep in mind that lung cancer in never smokers is the 6th leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

Lesser Known Tips for Preventing Lung Cancer

1. Check your home for radon. Exposure to radon in the home is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and the leading cause in non-smokers. Since radon is an odorless, colorless gas resulting from the natural decay of uranium in the soil beneath homes, the only way to know if you are at risk is to test your home. Radon kits are available at most hardware stores for less than $20.

2. Avoid secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is responsible for roughly 3,000 lung cancer deaths every year.

3. Take time to learn about chemicals you are exposed to at work as well as ways to protect yourself. It’s estimated that 13 to 29% of lung cancers in men are related to occupational exposure to chemicals and other substances.

Early Detection of Lung Cancer

Until recently we didn’t have a screening test for lung cancer. Unlike mammograms for early detection of breast cancer and colonoscopies for early detection of colon cancer, we were left to rely on recognizing symptoms alone to diagnose lung cancer. As such roughly 40% of people diagnosed already have stage 4 lung cancer.

Now, CT screening for lung cancer has been found to reduce lung cancer deaths by 20% when performed for people who meet certain criteria: Namely those between the ages of 55 and 75 who have smoked for at least 30 pack-years and continue to smoke or have quit smoking in the last 15 years.

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