There′s no sure way to prevent lung cancer, but you can reduce your risk if you:
Don′t smoke - If you′ve never smoked, don′t start. Talk to your children about not smoking so that they can understand how to avoid this major risk factor for lung cancer. Begin conversations about the dangers of smoking with your children early so that they know how to react to peer pressure.
Stop smoking - Stop smoking now. Quitting reduces your risk of lung cancer, even if you′ve smoked for years. Talk to your doctor about strategies and stop-smoking aids that can help you quit. Options include nicotine replacement products, medications and support groups.
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 -Take precautions to protect yourself from exposure to toxic chemicals at work. Follow your employer′s precautions. For instance, if you′re given a face mask for protection, always wear it. Ask your doctor what more you can do to protect yourself at work. Your risk of lung damage from workplace carcinogens increases if you smoke.
Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables - Choose a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Food sources of vitamins and nutrients are best. Avoid taking large doses of vitamins in pill form, as they may be harmful. For instance, researchers hoping to reduce the risk of lung cancer in heavy smokers gave them beta carotene supplements. Results showed the supplements actually increased the risk of cancer in smokers.
Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all - Limit yourself to one drink a day if you′re a woman or two drinks a day if you′re a man. Anyone age 65 and older should drink no more than one drink a day.
Exercise - Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. You can also do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Check with your doctor first if you aren′t already exercising regularly.
Start out slowly and continue adding more activity - Biking, swimming and walking are good choices. Add exercise throughout your day — park farther away from work and walk the rest of the way or take the stairs rather than the elevator. Strength training is also important. Try to do strength training exercises at least twice a week.