Lung Cancer And Lifestyle Considerations
Author: Shannon Miller
For men and women combined, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths.
It is projected for 2010 that 116,750 men will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 105, 770 women will be diagnosed.
There are two main types of lung cancer:
- One is small cell lung cancer, and it gets its name from the small cells that comprise this cancer; about 10% to 15% of lung cancer cases refer to this type.
- The other type of lung cancer is non-small cell lung cancer and roughly 85% to 90% of lung cancer cases refer to this type.
It appears that lifestyle has much to do with the prevention of lung cancer. Scientists estimate that smoking accounts for about 85% to 90% of lung cancer deaths.
Ongoing research is focusing on methods for getting people to quit smoking, ways to influence young people to never start smoking, and genetic dispositions that make some smokers (and second-hand smokers) more susceptible to developing lung cancer. A Guide to Quitting Smoking is available at http://www.cancer.org/.
Another lifestyle consideration regarding lung cancer prevention is diet and nutrition.
Research is being conducted on the use of vitamins and medicines as a means of lung cancer prevention for high risk individuals; the success of these methods has not yet been supported. In turn, it seems that the best strategy for now involves following the American Cancer Society’s dietary recommendations.
Two of these dietary recommendations include:
- maintaining a healthy weight
- eating at least five fruit and vegetable servings daily.
Despite our best efforts toward prevention, we or someone close to us, may still have to face a cancer diagnosis; in this case, lifestyle – during and after treatment – remains an important consideration.
It may be particularly useful to consider the role of exercise during and after treatment. As extreme fatigue is often experienced during treatment, it is quite understandable why a cancer patient may not want to engage in physical activity.
This begs the question: should cancer patients really be concerned with exercise?
Research demonstrates that exercise can actually help reduce fatigue; specifically, studies have shown that patients who follow an exercise program (unique to their needs) feel better, both physically and emotionally. Of course, the health care team of the cancer patient should be consulted prior to engaging in any exercise program.
Cancer can certainly be considered an unexpected guest, but in keeping informed about the disease with respect to controllable factors like lifestyle, woman and men alike can use their level of awareness to their benefit.
All of the above information was adapted from the American Cancer Society Website