Lung cancer is a major concern globally, with 2.21 million cases reported worldwide, making it the second most common cancer. It’s essential to take action to prevent lung cancer.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of preventive care in fighting lung cancer. By understanding risks, adopting healthy habits, and embracing preventive healthcare, we can take charge of our health and reduce the chances of developing this serious disease. Let’s explore how preventive care can make a difference in tackling lung cancer. Let us prevent lung cancer.

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is a serious condition that occurs when cells in the lung undergo abnormal changes and begin to grow uncontrollably, forming a mass or tumor. These cancerous cells then spread to nearby lymph nodes or other parts of the body, through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. It causes difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, chest pain, hoarseness, headache, and weight loss. 

Risk Factors for Lung Cancer

Cigarette Smoking: Cigarette smoking is closely associated with approximately 80% to 90% of lung cancer deaths in the US. Moreover, using alternative tobacco products like cigars or pipes also heightens the risk of developing lung cancer. Individuals who smoke cigarettes face a significantly elevated risk, being 15 to 30 times more likely to develop lung cancer compared to non-smokers. 

Secondhand Smoke

Non-smokers can also get affected because of exposure to secondhand smoking. During 2013 to 2014, approximately one out of four non-smokers, including an alarming 14 million children, were exposed to secondhand smoke in the US.


Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. 

According to estimates by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon contributes to approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually. 

Radon is a naturally occurring gas originating from rocks, soil, and water. Unlike other harmful substances, radon cannot be detected by sight, taste, or smell. It infiltrates homes and buildings through cracks or holes. Prolonged exposure to high radon levels increases the risk of lung cancer.

Other Factors

Exposure to substances like asbestos, arsenic, diesel exhaust, silica, and chromium, as well as living in areas with high air pollution levels, can increase lung cancer risk. 

Lung cancer survivors, especially smokers, have a higher risk of developing another lung cancer. Family history and radiation therapy to the chest also increase the risk. Regular monitoring is crucial for those with a history of cancer treatment.

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Symptoms of this disease vary widely. Some experience lung-related symptoms, while others have symptoms related to cancer spread to other parts of the body. Some may feel unwell without specific symptoms. Some people may not experience any symptoms in the early stages of the disease. 

Regular screenings, especially for high-risk individuals like smokers or those with a family history, are crucial for early detection. We must look for the symptoms in order to prevent lung cancer.

  • Cough that doesn’t go away.
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing of blood
  • Feeling tired
  • Repeated bouts of pneumonia
  • Enlarged lymph nodes inside the chest or in between the lungs.

How Can We Reduce Risk of Lung Cancer?

Quit Smoking: The most effective way to reduce risk of lung cancer is to not smoke or quit, if you smoke. Smokers can seek support from healthcare professionals, join quit-smoking programs, or support groups to quit successfully.

Avoid Secondhand Smoke: Minimize exposure to secondhand smoke by creating smoke-free environments at home, work, and public spaces.

Protect Against Radon: Test your home for radon levels and take steps to mitigate high concentrations if detected. This may involve sealing cracks in the foundation or installing radon ventilation systems.

Limit Exposure to Carcinogens: Reduce exposure to known carcinogens such as asbestos, radon, arsenic, diesel exhaust, and air pollution. Take preventive measures and follow safety guidelines in occupational and environmental settings.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of lung cancer. Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and maintain a healthy weight. Exercise regularly and limit alcohol consumption.

Undergo Regular Screenings: If you’re at high risk of lung cancer, such as current or former smokers, or having a family history, consider regular screenings with low-dose CT scans. Early detection can improve treatment outcomes and survival rates.

Who Should Be Screened for Lung Cancer?

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends yearly lung cancer screening with LDCT (low-dose computed tomography) for individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • Have a smoking history of 20 pack-years or more.
  • Currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.
  • Are between 50 and 80 years old.

Pack Year = Number of cigarette packs smoked per day * Number of years the person has smoked. 

For instance, someone could reach a 20 pack-year history by smoking one pack a day for 20 years or two packs a day for 10 years.

Prevent Lung Cancer: Motto for 2024

Early detection and treatment are crucial for improving outcomes and prognosis in lung cancer. One must remember that one can prevent lung cancer by just modifying our lifestyle. Treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of these approaches, depending on the type and stage of the cancer. If you suspect any signs or symptoms of lung cancer, it’s crucial to seek prompt medical evaluation for proper diagnosis and management. 

ZeaMed encourages everyone to follow preventive care.

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