Lung cancer claims the lives of 433 Americans every day, according to the Lung Cancer Foundation of America. The best way to eradicate this devastating disease is to prevent it from occurring. Here are some tips to raise awareness of the risks for lung cancer and improve your overall health.

Don’t Smoke

If you’ve never smoked, you’ve avoided the chief cause of lung cancer. Are you the parent of little ones? Talk to them about the dangers of smoking sooner rather than later. If you have these conversations when they are young, they will be prepared to positively react to peer pressure when they’re older.

Quit Smoking

Are you already a smoker? Stop now. Even if you’ve smoked for years, quitting decreases the risk of lung cancer. Consult with an experienced doctor about strategies and tools that can help you give up smoking for good. You might benefit from joining a support group, using nicotine replacement products or taking medications.

Say No to Second-hand Smoke

Do you live or work with a smoker? Encourage this person to stop. If the individual refuses, ask him or her to smoke outdoors. When possible, avoid going to places where people smoke. Request smoke-free options at restaurants or while staying at hotels.

Avoid Carcinogens on the Job

Take preventative steps to avoid exposing yourself to toxic chemicals on the job. Always follow your employer’s rules. If your boss provides you with a face mask for protection, wear it whenever necessary. Talk with your physician about extra steps you can take to protect yourself at work. According to the Mayo Clinic, your risk of lung damage from carcinogens rises if you smoke.

Test Your Home for Radon

While smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, the American Cancer Society reports that radon exposure causes an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. It’s a good idea to have the radon levels checked at your home and install a radon detector. This is especially wise if you live in a place where radon is known to exist in large quantities. If your home has high radon levels, take steps to remove it.

Break a Sweat 

Exercise boosts your immune system. Do you exercise regularly? If so, you’re making yourself healthier. If not, begin working out slowly. Strive to do light exercise every other day of the week. Then gradually build on your progress.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

To foster immunity, eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Food sources of vitamins and nutrients are superior to supplements.

Knowing more about this disease and encouraging those you love to live healthier are positive steps toward preventive care. Should lung cancer ever become a family concern, SIU Medicine has highly trained doctors to help diagnose and treat it, using the most up-to-date research from around the world.

Topics: Lung Cancer, Lung Cancer Prevention