Lung cancer is the third-most-common type of cancer in the United States. It’s slightly more common in men than in women, with the chance of a man developing lung cancer being around 1:15 while in women it’s 1:17.
At Indus Healthcare, with offices located in Pomona, West Covina, and Montclair, California, Dr. Amit Paliwal provides a range of men's health services, including ways to lower your risk of getting lung cancer.
Preventing lung cancer in men
When it comes down to it, most of the best ways to lower your risk of lung cancer as a man involve paying close attention to your overall health and avoiding lifestyle choices that can raise your risk.
You can also help lower the risk of lung cancer by being aware of environmental risks or risks in the workplace, and protecting yourself against these dangers.
While there are always genetic risks you can’t do anything about, you do have a lot of control over how you treat and care for your body, and you can work to prevent lung cancer in the following four ways.
1. Don’t smoke
The absolute best thing you can do for your lungs is to not smoke. Smoking is estimated to be a factor in around 90% of lung cancer cases. Lower smoking rates have lowered lung cancer mortality: in fact, it’s estimated that more than 800,000 lung cancer deaths have been averted since anti-smoking initiatives started going into effect in the 1970s. Avoid second-hand smoke, too, when at all possible.
2. Check for radon exposure
Exposure to radon can also increase your risk of lung cancer. Radon can be present in homes and other buildings, particularly in basement areas. Having your home checked for radon levels is smart, especially if you live in an older home or have a basement where you spend a lot of time.
3. Watch out for asbestos
Asbestos was a common substance in building materials for decades, but it was also present in many other items, such as fake snow used on sets or outdoor displays or on artificial Christmas trees. Even a low level of exposure to asbestos can raise your risk of lung cancer, and in many cases symptoms won’t even show up until 15 years or more have passed. If you’ve ever been exposed to asbestos, you need your lungs checked regularly for signs of damage.
4. Protect yourself at work
If you work in a profession where you’re commonly exposed to dust or fumes (such as paint fumes or diesel exhaust), wear protective masks that have appropriate filtration for the potential carcinogens you may be exposed to. You should be protecting your lungs if you work in construction, welding, mining, or other situations that mean a lot of stuff floating around in the air you’re breathing.
Bonus tip: get regular checkups
Lung cancer can start and grow for months or years before men become aware of it. If you have any risks for lung cancer, you should be getting a lung X-ray at regular intervals to ensure any cancer found is caught early. This can increase your chances for successful treatment.
Want to be more proactive about your health needs as a man? Get in touch with the team at Indus Healthcare. To schedule an appointment, call the location closest to you, or visit the contact page for more information.