Avoid smoking is not the only way to prevent your lungs from lung cancer (although it is one of the influential factors!). There is a lot more to it. Let’s find out.
Knowing about the probable risk factors associated with lung cancer and talking about them to your doctor, is a first step, to prevent yourself from suffering from such disease.
A few lifestyle changes here and there along with dietary changes and adopting healthy habits go a long way in keeping your lungs functional and healthy. Here are a few such habits which should be adopted in order to keep your lungs healthy and free from cancer:
1. Quit smoking
First things first, if you are an active smoker, just quit smoking straightaway. Further, if you don’t smoke, make it a point to stay away from it as well.
As a matter of fact, smoking is one of the leading causes of cancer and accounts for 80-90% of lung cancer. Thus, it is important to make yourself aware of all the probable side effects related to smoking.
As per American Lung Association, men who smoke are 23 times more likely and women who smoke are 13 times more likely to suffer from lung cancer. If you do not smoke, do not start. If you smoke, quit right now. There are various ways through which you can quit smoking,
Nicotine replacement therapy is one of the methods through which you can quit smoking. Similarly, you can also use e-cigs as an alternative to quit smoking slowly and gradually.
2. Avoid second-hand smoke exposure
In addition to quit smoking, you should also maintain a safe distance with second-hand smoke. Although, second-hand smoke is not as dangerous as the smoking itself, however, getting exposed to passive smoke quite frequently can impact your lungs wrongly.
As per an estimate by CDC, second-hand smoke increases your chances of suffering from lung cancer by 20-30%. Thus, it is highly recommended to maintain a safe distance from second-hand smoke, as much as possible to stay safe.
3. Chemicals at house and workplace
There are certain chemicals that can harm you knowingly or unknowingly, while you are at work or at home. Thus, if you notice any presence of dust particles, asbestos, di-acetyl (a chemical that adds a buttery flavor to food), fumes of paints, diesel exhausts and others, it is a clear indication to take appropriate preventive measures. It’s better to wear masks while at work or get in touch with Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Also, check the labels of safety measures mentioned behind the products used at home.
4. Environmental factors
There are certain environmental factors that must also be avoided. These include:
Radiation, especially of the X-rays and the gamma rays, is used in various therapies and for testing purposes. This increases the chances of lung cancer. Thus, you should avoid going for too many tests unless, it is necessary in order to protect your lungs from harmful radiations.
- Radon gas
It is a radioactive gas that is produced from the breakdown of uranium rocks and seeps in the houses through cracks in the earth. Thus, you should get your house checked for any high levels of the gas.
5. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
It is highly recommended to take a proper diet and include fibrous fruits, cereals, and vegetables in your daily intake. Take a diet rich in anti-oxidants such as beans in addition to foods that are high in phytoestrogens such as soy foods, whole grain, sprouts, nut and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale. This would not only keep your lungs healthy but would also keep you active.
6. Practice yoga and exercise daily
Daily exercise and yoga decrease the chances of lung cancer. Studies have shown that people who are physically active have healthier lungs in comparison to those who do not exercise.
There are various cases when people are found with a genetic predisposition for lung cancer. This means that if someone in your house is suffering from lung cancer, then chances are high that you might also acquire it.
Thus, it is highly recommended to get a routine check-up of the lungs to stay healthy.
8. Air pollution
The dangerous exhausts of the vehicles, burning of wood, wood stoves, coal, and the greenhouse gases can damage your respiratory tract, thus making you prone to lung diseases. Thus, make sure that you spend some time in the pollution-free atmosphere in order to purify your lungs. A brisk walk of 30 minutes early in the morning in parks and gardens can also work wonders.
Further, here are a few other things that you can practice:
- Stay hydrated
Water is an essential requirement of the body. It flushes the toxins out from the body. Taking enough fluids throughout the day keeps the mucosal lining around the lungs moist and disease free.
- Improve the indoor air quality
Maintain greenery in your house by planting houseplants that act as natural air purifiers such as ferns, peace lily, bamboo palm, English Ivy and the likes.
9. Increase the intake of vitamin C and switch to green tea
Intake of foods that are rich in vitamin C and folic acid is beneficial in protecting the lungs from lung cancer. Some vitamin C rich fruits include kiwi, potatoes, and red bell peppers.
Further, green tea has antioxidant properties and has the highest capacity to fight and eradicate the free radicals that speed the damage caused by cancer-causing chemicals.
- Laughter Therapy
Laughter is a great exercise to work the abdominal muscles and increase the lung capacity. It also helps in exhaling stale air from the lungs and further helps you inhale fresh air which is beneficial, if you want to keep your lungs healthy.
So, try to incorporate these tips each day and keep your lungs healthy and free of lung cancer.