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Ways to prevent lung cancer

Lung cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, with an estimated 228,820 new cases and 142,670 deaths in the United States for 2020 alone. It affects all populations, genders, and demographics and is the leading cause of cancer deaths. While many factors contribute to one’s risk of developing lung cancer, such as family history, smoking, and occupations that expose individuals to hazardous substances, there are proactive steps that can be taken to reduce a person’s risk of getting lung cancer.

The best and most surefire way to prevent lung cancer is to avoid smoking and being around secondhand smoke. According to the American Cancer Society, smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer; it is responsible for 80-90% of all cases. Even if you never smoked, exposure to secondhand smoke can still lead to the risk of lung cancer; because of this, it is best to keep away from any kind of smoke altogether. Endorsing policies that strictly limit smoking in public areas and workplaces, including restaurants and bars, can help in reducing the exposure to secondhand smoke and ultimately, lung cancer.

Another effective way to prevent lung cancer is to be aware of and limit exposure to hazardous substances. Living in and around some industrial areas, working in certain jobs, and being around certain materials can put people at a higher risk for the disease and should be avoided when possible. Also, people should be aware and educate themselves of any occupational hazards and take all the necessary safety and health precautions to protect themselves from any occupational exposures.

Leading a healthy and active lifestyle can also reduce one’s risk of getting lung cancer. Eating a balanced diet, full of fruits and vegetables, is a great way to prevent disease. Reducing a person’s alcohol intake and maintaining a healthy weight, through regular exercise, also helps in preventing lung cancer, because obesity is associated with an increased risk for it.

One last proactive way someone can reduce the chance of developing lung cancer is getting screened. Although individuals with some risk factors are more likely to develop the cancer, screenings can help the disease be detected earlier and therefore, be more treatable. Through screenings, doctors can detect and treat any irregularities with the lungs.


Ultimately, these steps are important in keeping individuals healthier and reducing the risk of developing lung cancer. In addition, reducing smoking and looking out for exposure to hazardous elements can help protect your lungs and reduce the chance of getting cancer. Paired with eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting screened regularly, these lifestyle changes can go a long way in reducing the risk of lung cancer.

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