Health & Wellness

Lung Cancer Prevention & Detection

Every year, more people die from lung cancer than from prostate, colon and breast cancers combined. Because most people with lung cancer do not experience any symptoms until the disease is in its latest stages, it’s important to catch these cancers early. With greater knowledge about prevention and better methods for early detection, lung cancer is more treatable than ever before.

Lung Cancer Prevention

Not all lung cancers are preventable. However, there are several steps you can take to lower your risk of developing lung cancer.

  • Say no to tobacco. If you’re a smoker, your damaged lung tissue gradually begins to repair itself from the moment you quit. No matter how long you’ve smoked or how old you are, it’s never too late to quit. Limiting exposure to secondhand smoke can also decrease your likelihood of developing lung cancer as well other cancers.

  • Test for radon. Have your home tested and treated for radon if necessary. This odorless, radioactive gas is naturally occurring and is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The EPA estimates that 1 out of every 15 homes in the U.S. has elevated levels of radon.

  • Avoid or limit exposure to known carcinogens. Be aware of known carcinogenic materials, such as asbestos, in the areas you live and work. If you are around cancer-causing chemicals in the workplace, limit your exposure as much as possible.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Evidence suggests that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may protect against lung cancer. A healthy BMI has also been linked to lower levels of cancer.

Lung Cancer Detection

When people experience lung cancer symptoms, they often mistake them for other issues, such as an infection or complications from long-term smoking. Unfortunately, when symptoms like this are present, the disease is already at an advanced stage.

Tests for other medical conditions can often find lung cancers. For example, testing for heart disease, pneumonia or other lung conditions can detect tumors in the lungs. With proper treatment, people who find their cancer early in this manner can often recover.

Dr. Adel Massoud, family medicine physician at CHI St. Joseph Health Primary Care South College Station, says, “The best way for someone at risk to detect lung cancer before it reaches an advanced stage is with a low-dose CT scan.” The American Cancer Society recommends screenings for people who are 55 to 74 years old, have a 30 pack-year smoking history, and who are still smoking or have stopped smoking within the past 15 years.

If you may be at risk of developing lung cancer, talk to one of the experts at CHI St. Joseph Health. Early detection could save your life. Our lung cancer screenings provide the opportunity to find cancers when they are more treatable. As the leading provider of cancer care in the Brazos Valley, our lung cancer services combine cutting-edge technology with compassionate care.

Sources:
Lung Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
Radon and Cancer
Body Weight & Cancer Risk

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