What you need to know about Lungs cancer
It’s Lung cancer awareness month.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide.
People who smoke have the greatest risk of lung cancer, though lung cancer can also occur in people who have never smoked. The risk of lung cancer increases with the length of time and number of cigarettes you’ve smoked. If you quit smoking, even after smoking for many years, you can significantly reduce your chances of developing lung cancer.
Causes of lungs cancer
Smoking causes the majority of lung cancers — both in smokers and in people exposed to secondhand smoke. But lung cancer also occurs in people who never smoked and in those who never had prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke. In these cases, there may be no clear cause of lung cancer.
Risk factors for lungs cancer
Smoking: Your risk of lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes you smoke each day and the number of years you have smoked. Quitting at any age can significantly lower your risk of developing lung cancer.
Exposure to secondhand smoke:Even if you don’t smoke, your risk of lung cancer increases if you’re exposed to secondhand smoke.
Previous radiation therapy. If you’ve undergone radiation therapy to the chest for another type of cancer, you may have an increased risk of developing lung cancer.
Exposure to radon gas: Radon is produced by the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water that eventually becomes part of the air you breathe. Unsafe levels of radon can accumulate in any building, including homes.
Exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens: Workplace exposure to asbestos and other substances known to cause cancer — such as arsenic, chromium and nickel — can increase your risk of developing lung cancer, especially if you’re a smoker.
Family history of lung cancer. People with a parent, sibling or child with lung cancer have an increased risk of the disease.
Test to diagnose Lung Cancer
- Imaging tests. An X-ray image of your lungs may reveal an abnormal mass or nodule. A CT scan can reveal small lesions in your lungs that might not be detected on an X-ray.
- Sputum cytology. If you have a cough and are producing sputum, looking at the sputum under the microscope can sometimes reveal the presence of lung cancer cells.
- Tissue sample (biopsy). A sample of abnormal cells may be removed in a procedure called a biopsy.
Prevention of Lungs Cancer
There’s no sure way to prevent lung cancer, but you can reduce your risk if you:
- Don’t smoke.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid secondhand smoke: If you live or work with a smoker, urge him or her to quit. At the very least, ask him or her to smoke outside. Avoid areas where people smoke, such as bars and restaurants, and seek out smoke-free options.
- Avoid carcinogens at work.
- Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise most days of the week.
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