To prevent lung cancer, it's crucial to avoid key risk factors like smoking, inhaling secondhand smoke, and being overweight. Some research suggests that certain dietary strategies and natural substances may also help prevent lung cancer, a leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
Natural Ways to Prevent Lung Cancer
Although there's no surefire way to prevent lung cancer, making changes to your self-care may help reduce your risk. Here's a look at several natural approaches that may help you prevent lung cancer:
1) Smoking Cessation Strategies
Cigarette smoking causes most lung cancers, but quitting smoking may help reduce your lung cancer risk. Nicotine replacement products, antidepressant medications, and counseling have all been found to aid in smoking cessation; there's some evidence that alternative therapies like acupuncture and hypnosis may also help you quit. If you're trying to stop smoking, make sure to consult your physician before pursuing any type of smoking cessation treatment.
2) Diet and Exercise
A number of studies show that increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables may help prevent lung cancer. What's more, some research indicates that people who exercise regularly may have a lower risk of lung cancer.
Preliminary findings from test-tube research indicate that curcumin (an anti-inflammatory compound found in the curry spice turmeric) may help knock out lung cancer cells. However, it's too soon to tell whether increasing your curcumin intake can help prevent lung cancer.
On the other hand, research shows that taking beta carotene supplements can raise the risk of lung cancer in people who smoke one or more packs of cigarettes per day.
4) Green Tea
In a research review published in 2009, scientists found "limited to moderate evidence" that the consumption of green tea may reduce risk of lung cancer. Rich in antioxidants, green tea is thought to help prevent lung cancer by fighting off free radicals (chemical byproducts known to damage DNA).
Should You Use Natural Remedies to Prevent Lung Cancer?
Due to the lack of supporting research, natural remedies like curcumin and green tea cannot currently be recommended for lung cancer prevention. In addition to avoiding cigarette smoke and maintaining a healthy weight, you may be able to prevent lung cancer by reducing your exposure to environmental pollutants and limiting your intake of alcohol.
If you're experiencing symptoms of lung cancer (such as constant chest pain, shortness of breath, chronic cough that worsens over time, and repeated problems with pneumonia or bronchitis), consult your physician as soon as possible.
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