You need to know how to prevent lung cancer. In fact, lung cancer is a disastrous disease that causes uncontrollable cell division in the lung.
The abnormal growth of cells causes tumors, which hinders the ability of breathing.
Early identification of lung cancer might be challenging. However, the symptoms are slightly similar to the respiratory infection.
Therefore, how recognizing lung cancer causes, signs, and symptoms is very crucial.
The abnormal growth of cells leads to the development of tumors and the harmful effects of cancer.
Causes of lung cancer
Knowing the causes of lung cancer can help you to prevent lung cancer at an early stage.
Doctors say that mutations in the abnormal cells’ DNA cause the cells to grow and divide more rapidly than normal cells do.
Nevertheless, the developed cells due to this abnormality usually stay alive while another normal cell perishes or dies.
These cells can cause tumors and other impairments to the neighborhood tissues.
The main causes of lung cancer are hormones, poor diet, sedentary lifestyles, and environmental factors.
Another causes of lung cancer are alcohol consumption.
For instance, a man who drinks excess alcohol and even women who drink alcoholic fluids such as beer, wine, etc.
Has higher chances of developing lung cancer. Alcoholic drinks affect the bloodstream and function.
Studies reveal that people who drink alcohol have a high chance of developing lung cancer.
Therefore, avoiding alcoholic drinks can help you to prevent lung cancer.
cigarette smoking and drug abuse
Smoking is very harmful to your health, the smoke causes discomfort to your breathing organs, more so, cigarette smoking.
There is a harmful substance generated from a cigarette that has a higher chance of causing lung cancer.
Cocaine, Miraa, Viagra, and many other drug abuse increase your chances of developing cancer.
The meals a person consumes may increase the chances of developing lung cancer.
More so, broiler chicken, processed food, and refined products; contain harmful substances and antibiotics that can cause lung cancer.
Broiler chickens are injected with chemicals and antibiotics in order to grow faster with a large mass.
These substances are very harmful to your health and can cause lung cancer; therefore limit the consumption of broiler chicken.
Eating whole food is the best option to help you prevent lung cancer.
Use of supplements
Choosing dietary supplements over whole food increases your chances of developing lung cancer and other types of cancer.
Dietary supplements such as protein shake, weight loss pills, weight gain supplements, and any other supplement can result in cancer.
Read the label on the containers before purchasing any supplement. The best meals are from whole foods or natural food.
The body needs enough exercise to improve its functionality. Inadequate physical exercise can increase the chances of getting cancer.
Exercise helps in brain function, boost your moods, and strengthen the muscles and bone.
A person needs to perform some aerobic exercise and strength training at least 2 times a week.
Most elderly individuals are prone to cancer, because of physical inactivity.
Lack of a Well-balanced healthy diet
Poor diet is another cause of lung cancer. A person needs to feed on a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables.
Avoid excess saturated fats in your diet.
Choosing a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is the most appropriate food to combine in the diet.
Eating a well-balanced diet does not mean including all the food types in your meal. However, it means checking the correct amount of food to eat.
Attempt to eat fruits and vegetables most of the time.
Genetics can lead to lung cancer?
Family background is a key factor. If a parent has these genes, they may pass on the altered instructions to their offspring. this can cause lung cancer.
Genetic code controls the growth of cells and expires.
Therefore, changes in the genes can lead to alteration of cell’ DNA and cancer can develop.
Furthermore, Genes can affect the cells’ production of proteins, being that proteins carry out various functions in order for cellular growth and division.
In addition, if you have a family member who possesses genes for cancers that increase the risk of lung cancer (BRCA1 and BRCA2) or a very strong family history of cancer, your risk of lung cancer may be higher.
Finally, a person can inherit a predisposition for a type of cancer. A doctor may refer to this as having a hereditary cancer syndrome.
Inherited genetic mutations significantly contribute to the development of 5–10 percent of cancer cases.
Individual medication background may increase your chances of developing cancer, especially chest conditions.
For instance, if you had a biopsy that found lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or atypical hyperplasia of the lung, then you may have a high risk of lung cancer.
Obesity Can Cause Lung cancer
The overweight factor in both women and men an even in obese children can lead to impairment and tumors.
Being that obesity is caused by abnormal cell division, the chances of developing cancer may be high.
In addition, a diagnosed obese person from cancer may develop fatal complications that may be difficult to treat.
Radiation therapy may as well increase your chances of developing lung cancer.
For instance, if you received radiation treatments to your chest as a child or young adult, your risk of lung cancer is higher compared to an individual who has not gone through it.
Young girls beginning their period before 12 years old may increase their chances of developing lung cancer.
That cancerous cell rapidly spread to nearby tissues and cells. It is likely to develop lung cancer.
Lung cancer is common in old age individuals as compared to the youth, especially 45 years and above.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 60% of the affected group is old age individuals of age 45 and above.
Late menopause is other causes of lung cancer.
This is very common in women who start their menopause after 50 years instead of 45 years old.
Therefore, if you began menopause at an older age, then you are more likely to develop lung cancer.
Postmenopausal hormone therapy.
Women who take hormone therapy medications that combine estrogen and progesterone to treat the signs and symptoms of menopause have an increased risk of lung cancer.
The risk of lung cancer decreases when women stop taking these medications.
Signs and symptoms of lung cancer
Symptoms of lung cancer are very difficult to identify. However, when identified at an early stage can help you prevent lung cancer.
It is unfortunate that at a later stage is when these symptoms can be identified.
Some people may notice symptoms, which they may think are related to a less serious, acute illness.
Therefore, continuous medical checkup becomes the solution, visiting healthcare for cancer screening
The following are the symptoms:
- appetite loss
- changes to a person’s voice, such as hoarseness
- frequent chest infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia
- lingering cough that may start to get worse
- shortness of breath
- unexplained headaches
- weight loss
- severe chest or bone pain
- Coughing up blood.
Diagnosis of lung cancer
Currently, innovative research has fueled the use of new medications and treatment technologies to prevent lung cancer.
Lung cancer diagnosis usually starts with a thorough physical examination of the body and a complete medical background check.
Further, laboratory tests on a blood sample, sound, and other lung exams detect any abnormalities that may indicate cancer.
Mammogram is a type of X-ray checkup of the chest. It is used to screen for lung cancer.
For instance, if an abnormality is detected on a screening mammogram, your doctor may recommend a diagnostic mammogram to further evaluate that abnormality.
Ultrasound-An ultrasound instrument uses sound waves to produce images of structures deep within the body. It determines any abnormalities.
Biopsy -Removing a sample of lung cells for testing is the only effective way to make a diagnosis of lung cancer.
A biopsy sample is thoroughly analyzed to determine the type of cells involved in lung cancer.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – An MRI machine uses a magnet and radio waves to create pictures of the interior of your lung.
Side note- Not all people will need all of these tests and procedures.
However, your doctor chooses the most appropriate tests based on your specific circumstances and symptoms.
Staging of lung cancer
Lung cancer stages range from 0 to IV with 0 indicating cancer that is noninvasive or contained within the milk ducts.
Stage IV lung cancer also called metastatic lung cancer and indicates cancer that has spread to other areas of the body.
The following are the stagings
- Occult, or hidden: Cancer does not show on imaging scans, but cancerous cells might appear in the phlegm or mucus and may have reached other parts of the body.
- In Stage 0: The doctor finds abnormal cells only in the top layers of cells lining the airways.
- Stage I: A tumor has developed, but is less than 5 centimeters (cm) and has not spread to other parts of the body.
- In Stage II: The tumor is smaller than 5 cm and might have spread to the tissues in around the affected area, or smaller than 7 cm and spread to nearby tissues but not lymph nodes.
- Stage III: Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and reached other parts of the organs and surrounding area.
- In Stage IV: Cancer has spread to distant body parts, such as the bones or brain.
Treatments for Lung Cancer
1. Radiation therapy
It is the use of high-dose radiation to kill cancerous cells in the lung to prevent lung cancer from spreading.
Furthermore, doctors may use radiation to shrink a tumor before any surgery is done to reduce tumor-related symptoms.
It aims to kill cancerous cells with medications that target rapidly dividing cells.
Chemotherapy is sometimes given before surgery. This type of medication help shrink tumors, however, the side effects can be severe.
What are the Side Effects of chemotherapy?
The following are the side effects of chemotherapy;
- Hair loss
- An increased risk of developing an infection
- It can result in infertility (if premenopausal),
- Damage to the heart and kidneys
- Nerve damage,
- Very rarely, blood cell cancer.
3. Hormone therapy
This involves taking medications that change how reproductive hormones work.
Hormone therapy is used to treat lung cancers that are sensitive to hormones.
Doctors refer to these cancers as estrogen receptor-positive (ER-positive) and progesterone receptor-positive (PR-positive) cancers.
This treatment can be done before or after surgery or other treatments to decrease the chance of your cancer returning.
4. Precision medicine or personalized medicine
For lung cancer checking genes may be done.it is also known as Palliative care which is specialized medical care that focuses on providing relief from pain and other symptoms of a serious illness.
This involves using genetic testing to check and identify the best treatments for cancer.
It is one of the common parts of the cancer treatment plan in case a person has a cancerous tumor.
A surgeon may remove lymph nodes to reduce or prevent lung cancer from spreading.
6. Targeted therapy drugs such as Small-molecule drugs and monoclonal antibodies
These are targeted therapies done to perform functions within cancerous cells to prevent them from multiplying.
The drugs can damage cancer cells while sparing healthy cells.
They can also boost the immune system. For instance, your cancer cells may be tested to see whether you might benefit from targeted therapy drugs.
In addition, some medications are used after surgery to reduce the risk that cancer will return. Others are used in cases of advanced lung cancer to reduce the emergence of the tumor.
7. The checkpoint inhibitors and adoptive cell transfer
They are Immunotherapy that uses medications and other treatments to boost the immune system and encourage them to fight cancerous cells.
Immunotherapy is combined with chemotherapy to treat advanced cancer that is spread to other parts of the body.
How to Prevent lung cancer
Regular exercise to prevent lung cancer
Physical inactivity increases your risk of developing cancer, therefore, make sure you perform some aerobic exercise at least two times a week to prevent lung cancer.
More so, regular exercise improves your overall health, helps you maintain your weight, and improves your moods and brain functions.
Note: Before starting exercise, especially when you are above 50 years old, you need to visit a nearby healthcare center for medical checkups.
Avoid smoking and alcoholic drinks
Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and if good, you should stop it.
This also applies to those smoking cigarettes and other drug abuse. This will help reduce the chances of developing lung cancer.
Eat a well-balanced healthy diet
A healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables is all that you need. Avoid saturated fats in your diet, and processed and refined products to prevent lung cancer.
Choosing a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is the most appropriate food.
Processed food contains harmful chemicals that can rapidly cause cancer. Eating a well-balanced diet does not mean including all the food types in your meal.
However, it means checking the correct amount of nutrients you eat.
It is very important to check the food labels and read it carefully, to ensure you avoid saturated fats and harmful substances in your diet.
Finally, avoid alcoholic drinks.
Avoid the use of supplements
A good number of people use protein shakes and other dietary supplements to either reduce weight, gain weight, increase performance, or other related gains.
However, these supplements may contain harmful chemicals like antibiotics that may increase your risk of cancer.
Always choose healthy foods over supplements.
Maintain a healthy weight to prevent lung cancer
Overweight and obesity increase your risk of lung cancer and other common cancers.
Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy weight. You can do this by checking your body mass index (BMI).
After that, do some exercise at least two times a week to prevent lung cancer.
If you need to lose weight, include weight lifting and cardio exercise and reduce the number of calories you eat every day.
You need to visit a healthcare professional for assistance on how to create a plan for healthy weight loss.
Go for cancer screening to prevent lung cancer
Visit nearby healthcare and ask for lung cancer screening, do not wait until it is too late is when you run for a consultation.
Clinical lung exams and mammograms are all you need to prevent lung cancer.
Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of screening.
Therefore, you can decide what lung cancer screening strategies are right for you.
7. Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy to prevent lung cancer
Combination hormone therapy may increase the risk of lung cancer.
Therefore, always ensure you communicate with your doctor about the benefits and risks of hormone therapy.
To reduce the risk of lung cancer, use the lowest dose of hormone therapy possible for the shortest amount of time.