The best way to prevent lung cancer is to avoid smoking. If you currently smoke, ask your health care provider to assist you in finding resources to help you quit smoking. It is also important to try to avoid second-hand tobacco smoke, radon, asbestos and pollution, which can increase a person’s risk of developing lung cancer. Controlling other lung diseases, such as tuberculosis can help prevent lung cancer, since there is evidence that lung cancer tends to develop in scarred areas of the lung.
Finally, eating a good diet with lots of fruits and vegetables also may help prevent lung cancer. Lung cancer is the largest single cause of cancer deaths in the United States. For years, men were at higher risk for lung cancer because of higher smoking rates. However, with more women smoking, lung cancer surpassed breast cancer in 1987 as the leading cause of cancer deaths among women.
Over the last two decades, lung cancer deaths have increased 150 percent in women, compared to an increase of about 20 percent in men. In fact, with all outside factors being equal, women have a greater risk of developing lung cancer than men. Several studies have suggested that estrogen may help lung cancers to grow, increasing the risk of lung cancer developing in women.