Preventing lung cancer

Q: How can I help prevent lung cancer?

Smoking causes roughly 1 in every 3 deaths from cancer in the US. Smoking tobacco increases the risk of lung cancer up to 20 times the risk of a non-smoker. Another way to look at this is that smoking cigarettes is responsible for almost 90 percent of all lung cancers.

Therefore, the single biggest impact on prevention of lung cancer is promoting smoking cessation for those who smoke and preventing individuals from ever starting the habit. Smokers who quit smoking completely and remain tobacco free for more than 15 years reduce their risk of developing lung cancer by up to 90 percent.

Reducing your exposure to secondhand smoke and other environmental factors such as radon may also decrease the risk of lung cancer.

If you work in certain industries with toxic agents such as asbestos, arsenic or chromium, follow the recommended safety guidelines, material safety data sheets, and wear your protective equipment.

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