It’s true that the majority of people with lung cancer have it as a result of years of smoking. But it’s not just a disease of smokers. It’s been proven that non-smokers suffering from lung cancer generally have it due to second-hand smoke, although their tumors are genetically different than those who have smoked. Regardless of the cause, lung cancer can be devastating.
Your lungs are like a carburetor for your body, taking in carbon dioxide and exchanging it for the oxygen that your body needs to function. Just like a car that has a bad carburetor, poorly functioning lungs will cause your body to break down.
Here are nine ways you can love your lungs a little more:
- Quit smoking. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but most lung cancer victims smoke tobacco.
- Get your loved one to stop smoking Inside. Second-hand smoke puts a non-smoker who is living with a smoker at a greater risk of developing lung cancer.
- Check the water for arsenic. Drinking water with high levels of arsenic is a possible contributing factor to lung cancer. This odorless, tasteless metalloid is typically found in well water. It’s prevalent in Western states like California, Nevada and Arizona, but it can be found in other places across the United States as well.
- Know your history. Genetics play a role in your susceptibility to lung cancer. If you already had lung cancer, or anyone in your family, such as siblings, parents or children have lung cancer, you are at a greater risk.
- Avoid supplements. Specifically avoid taking beta carotene if you smoke. Studies have shown that this supplement increases a smoker’s risk of lung cancer.
- Avoid air pollution. This can be difficult in cities with high-traffic and dense populations. In that case, avoid the outdoors on polluted days.
- Check for radon. Radon can be a cause of lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers,, but studies have shown that smokers are at greater risk. This radioactive gas is found in homes all over the United States. Radon testing is the only way to truly know if your home’s radon levels are safe. Make sure to check the radon levels in any home you are looking to purchase, because even a next door neighbor’s home can have different levels than yours. The EPA has maps of radon zones for every state.
- Avoid asbestos and diesel exhaust. People who work around or are exposed to asbestos are more likely to die of lung cancer. This is in addition to the other type of cancer asbestos causes, which hurts the lining surrounding the lungs.
- Go for a walk. Do something physical, like yoga or ride a bike. Pumping fresh oxygen and blood through system helps to clean out your lungs.
Follow these tips, combined with a healthy lifestyle to help your lungs breathe easier and reduce your risk of getting lung cancer.