4 steps to take toward lung cancer prevention
In the U.S., more men and women die from lung cancer than from any other type of cancer. One of the reasons why lung cancer is so deadly is because it’s often not diagnosed until it’s already in the later stages. At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center , we’re working to change that by connecting patients to the health education and resources they need, including lung cancer screenings. Not every risk factor is changeable—like past exposure to Agent Orange—but many of them are. Your physician can help you learn about preventive steps to take.
Ask your doctor about getting screened
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that some adults have lung cancer screenings. This is done with low-dose computed tomography technology. Your doctor can determine whether lung cancer screening is appropriate for you .
Annual screening is usually recommended for adults who meet all of the following criteria:
- Aged 55 to 80 years
- Current smokers or have quit within the past 15 years
- People with a 30 pack-year history of smoking
One pack-year is the equivalent of smoking one pack per day for one year. This means it’s possible to accrue 30 pack-years in just 15 actual years, if you habitually smoke two packs per day.
Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
If you haven’t already, quit smoking now. Each cigarette you smoke reduces your life expectancy a little bit more. It’s never easy to overcome an addiction, but it’s far easier to quit than to endure lung cancer and its treatments.
Your doctor can help you put together a smoking cessation action plan, which might include:
- Nicotine replacement products
- Mental health counseling
- Support groups
If you don’t smoke, don’t start, and avoid secondhand and thirdhand smoke. Don’t allow anyone to smoke in or near your home or car.
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
A good diet isn’t a substitute for quitting smoking, but eating lots of vegetables and fruits may offer some protection. Getting vitamins and minerals from food sources is preferable to taking supplements, especially for smokers. There is some evidence to suggest that taking large doses of vitamins in pill form may actually increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers.
Test your home for radon
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that you can’t detect with your eyes or nose. Your home could have high levels of radon, which increases the risk of lung cancer. You can purchase a home testing kit to find out if your family is at risk.
You’ll find the advanced medical services you need with the compassionate care you deserve at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. We connect Las Vegas-area residents to cutting-edge cancer care and diagnostic imaging tests. You can request a referral to a physician by calling (702) 233-5300.