Lung cancer is a cancer type that forms in the lungs. They are two spongy organs in your chest that intake oxygen when you inhale and give out carbon dioxide when you exhale.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in India.
People who smoke are at a high risk of lung cancer. However, lung cancer can also happen to people who have never smoked.
Lung cancer’s risk rises with how long and how many cigarettes you have smoked. If you stop smoking, even after smoking for a long time, you can reduce lung cancer chances.
Lung Cancer Signs and Symptoms
Lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms in its earliest stages. Lung cancer’s signs and symptoms typically occur when the condition has advanced.
Signs and symptoms may include:
- New cough that does not go away
- Coughing up blood, even if it is a small amount
- Breath shortness
- Pain in the chest
- Losing weight for no reason
- Pain in the bones
Now that you know lung cancer symptoms let us understand how one of the leading causes of cancer-smoking affects our lungs.
How Smoking Causes Lung Cancer?
Researchers believe smoking leads to lung cancer by damaging the cells that line the lungs. When you start inhaling cigarette smoke, which contains cancer-causing substances, your lung tissue starts to change immediately.
In the beginning, your body might repair this damage. However, with each cigarette you smoke, normal cells in your lungs suffer excessive damage. As time passes, the damage makes the cells behave abnormally and eventually form cancer.
Now that you know how cigarette causes lung cancer let us understand how we can prevent it.
Prevention of Lung Cancer
There is no sure way to prevent lung cancer, but you can reduce your risk if you:
Do not smoke
If you have never smoked, do not start. Speak to your children about the dangers of smoking. So, your children can understand how and why to avoid this significant factor of lung cancer. Start conversations about the ill effects of tobacco with children early; this will help them know how to react to peer pressure.
Quit smoking now. Stopping reduces your lung cancer risk, even if you have smoked for years. Consult your doctor about stop-smoking aids that can assist you in quitting. You can choose to include nicotine replacement products, medicines, and support groups.
Avoid second hand smoke
If you work or live with a smoker, urge them to quit. You can also just ask him or her to smoke outside. Avoid places where people usually smoke, such as bars and restaurants, and look for smoke-free options.
Avoid carcinogens at work
Adopt some precautions to keep yourself safe from exposure to toxic chemicals at work. Always follow your employer’s precautions. For example, if you are provided with a face mask for protection, always make sure you wear it. Talk to your doctor about what else you can do to protect yourself at work. The risk of lung damage from carcinogens at the workplace increases if you smoke.
Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables
Adopt a healthy diet with several varieties of vegetables and fruits. Always try to take your vitamins and minerals from food. Avoid taking too many doses of vitamins in pill form because they can be harmful. For instance, researchers trying to minimize the lung cancer risk in heavy smokers provided them with beta carotene supplements. However, results showed that the supplements raised the risk of cancer in heavy smokers.
Exercise most days of the week
If you do not exercise regularly, start now slowly. Try to exercise as many days of the week as possible.
Consult your doctor if you have any persistent symptoms or signs that concern you.
If you smoke and find yourself unable to quit, make an appointment with your specialist. Your specialist will provide strategies to quit smoking. It may include counseling, medicines, and nicotine replacement products.
Lung cancer is a common condition, but it is preventable. By taking proper care of your health, you can significantly minimize the risk of lung cancer. Remember, do not let a roll of cigarette dictate your life.