Lung cancer and ways to prevent it

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Lung cancer accounts for more cases and deaths than any other cancer. In fact, according to the United States government, approximately 40% of all cancer deaths are caused by lung cancer. Fortunately, lung cancer rates and deaths are decreasing. This is primarily due to a huge drop in smoking rates.

Smoking contributes to more than 80% of lung cancer cases. Radon gas is believed to cause 10 - 15%. The cause of the remaining cases is unknown. Lung cancer is known as a smoking man's disease. It is generally accepted that the longer and more often you smoke, the higher your risk of developing lung cancer. If a person smokes long enough, he or she is almost bound to develop a smoking-related health condition. The effects of smoking tend to be slightly more pronounced in women than men.

The prognosis for smoking lung cancer patients is grim. Statistics indicate that the 5-year cure rate is less than 15%. By the time lung cancer is diagnosed, it has often spread to other areas of the body. The initial signs of the disease often go unnoticed or ignored. Coughing, lethargy, and shortness of breath are vague symptoms and can be linked with dozens of health conditions.

The silent cause of lung cancer is radon gas. Around 10 - 15% of all lung cancer cases are attributed to radon. Radon is a byproduct of the breakdown of radioactive materials rising up through cracks in the earth. It is an ambient gas but usually is in concentrations that are not a danger to human health. The problem with radon arises when the gas seeps into homes and is trapped within a residence. In many homes, radon levels are at dangerously high levels. People living in the house breathe in the radon. Years and years pass and the radon leads to DNA damage which leads to cancer. Thousands of people die every year due to radon. Also worth noting here is that smokers exposed to large amounts of radon are at extremely high risk of developing lung cancer: a much higher risk than smoking alone.

The best ways of reducing your risk of developing and dying from lung cancer all have to do with lifestyle factors. The first step in avoiding lung cancer is to never smoke and to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and air pollution. The second step is to have a radon test done. These tests are relatively inexpensive and simple. They give a person an idea about his level of radon exposure. If he or she is exposed to dangerous levels, the home can be fixed to limit radon levels.

The third step is to maintain a proper lifestyle. This entails exercising, eating a healthy diet, sleeping well, and drinking plenty of water. The importance of drinking adequate amounts of water cannot be overstated. Water flushes toxins out of the body and promotes the optimum health and function of every major and minor bodily organ and system. Kidneys cannot filter toxins out of the body without water. Dehydration, or the lack of water in the body, can lead to heart problems, and an increased risk of nearly every serious health condition. Public health professionals often state that a person's health is 90% determined by himself and his lifestyle and 10% by his medical care. Drinking plenty of clean purified water is one of the easiest and most beneficial steps to achieving great health outcomes.

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