The best known way to prevent lung cancer is not to smoke. If you
already smoke, quitting now can reduce your risk — even if you've smoked
These measures also can help prevent lung cancer:
Breathing the smoke of others can be just as damaging as smoking is.
Test for radon.
Have the radon levels in your home checked, especially if you live
in an area where radon is known to be a problem.
Take precautions to protect yourself from exposure to toxic
chemicals such as vinyl chloride, nickel chromates and coal
products. Your risk of lung damage from these carcinogens increases
if you also smoke.
Eat a healthy
A number of studies have documented the relationship between food
and cancer. In most cases, a diet high in fruits and vegetables
appears to offer protection against the disease. For that reason,
the American Cancer Society recommends consuming five or six
servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. In the case of
lung cancer, certain foods seem to be especially protective. For
example, a large study in China, a country where smoking rates are
high, found that certain chemicals in cruciferous vegetables such as
broccoli, cabbage and bok choy can lower the risk of lung cancer up
to 36 percent. Researchers are quick to point out, however, that no
vegetable can protect you from cancer if you continue to smoke.
Other chemicals called flavonoids, which are found in all fruits and
vegetables, also appear to help protect against lung cancer. Apples,
berries and onions are richest in flavonoids.
One of the best things you can to do to care for yourself if you have
lung cancer is also one of the most obvious — don't smoke. It's best to
also avoid being around people who are smoking. Although it may be too
late to prevent developing lung cancer, this will help optimize your
lung function while you are being treated and improve your tolerance to
treatment that may have some effects on your lungs.
Regular exercise, such as walking, exercise bicycling or swimming, will
help you to maintain your general strength and stamina. Experts
recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days.
In addition, eating well and managing stress are both ways to promote
your overall health and cope with any form of cancer. Eating well during
cancer treatment can help you maintain your stamina and better cope with
the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation. Good nutrition may also
help you prevent infections and remain more active.
both cancer itself and some cancer treatments can affect your
appetite. At times you simply may not feel like eating, or you may
have nausea and vomiting as a result of chemotherapy. In that case,
a registered dietitian can be especially helpful with food planning.
diagnosis of cancer can be extremely challenging. It's important to
remember that no matter what your concerns or prognosis, you're not
alone. Here are some strategies and resources that may make dealing with
Know what to
Find out everything you can about your cancer — the type, the stage,
your treatment options and their side effects. The more you know, the
more active you can be in your own care. In addition to talking with
your doctor, look for information in your local library and on the
Although you may feel tired and discouraged, don't let others —
including your family or your doctor — make important decisions for
you. Take an active role in your treatment.
a strong support system.
Having a support system can help you cope with any issues, pain and
anxieties that might occur. Although friends and family can be your
best allies, they sometimes may have trouble dealing with your
illness. If so, the concern and understanding of a formal support
group or others coping with cancer can be especially helpful.
Although support groups aren't for everyone, they can be a good
source for practical information. You may also find you develop deep
and lasting bonds with people who are going through the same things
Having goals helps you feel in control and can give you a sense of
purpose. But don't choose goals you can't possibly reach. You may
not be able to work a 40-hour week, for example, but you may be able
to work at least halftime. In fact, many people find that continuing
to work can be helpful.
Take time for
Eating well, relaxing and getting enough rest can help combat the
stress and fatigue of cancer. Also, plan ahead for the downtimes
when you may need to rest more or limit what you do.
A diagnosis of cancer doesn't mean you have to stop doing the things
you enjoy or normally do. For the most part, if you feel well enough
to do something, go ahead and do it. It's important to stay involved
as much as you can.
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