Because of the bleak outlook for lung cancer victims in the 20th century, efforts from health authorities back then were directed toward earlier detection of the disease in hopes that those cancers discovered before the symptoms might be more likely to be cured. In an attempt to uncover such early cases, it was once recommended that annual chest X-rays be performed in those at risk.
Although a number of asymptomatic lung cancers were discovered in this way, survival rates were found to be no better for these patients than for those in whom the cancer had been diagnosed after symptoms appeared. Frequent chest X-rays and/or the obtaining of sputum for detection of cancer also failed to improve hopes for lung cancer patients.
Certain Foods Help to Avoid Lung Cancer
Research has shown that foods such as specific vegetables and fruits may help to reduce the possibility of contracting lung cancer. Drinking alcohol on a habitual basis can contrastingly increase the risk. Maintaining a constant exercise regime helps avoid lung cancer, as those who have a lesser amount of physical activity have proven to be at a greater risk than others.
Prevention Should Begin as Early as Possible
The most important contribution one can make to his or her own health in this regard is to never begin the act of smoking, or to resolve to quit an existing habit. If someone has been a cigarette smoker for a number of years, it is perhaps feasible to question whether it will do any good to stop at some later point in life. Lung tissue destruction and scarring as a result of cigarette smoke inhalation cannot be reversed by discontinuing smoking, although no further damage will result.
Speaking further on the prevention of lung cancer, the results of kicking the cigarette habit may not be as impressive in terms of reducing the risk as they are for reducing the risk of heart disease, but the benefits of quitting are more real than ever. After fifteen to twenty years of heavy smoking, the risk of lung cancer in an ex-smoker is no greater than in those who have never smoked at all. Although this seems like a long time to wait, one should remember that the incidence of lung cancer is greater at a later age, so trying to prevent it as early as possible is probably the best road to take. If a smoker quits at the age of thirty-five or even later, the benefits still outweigh the risk and will prove plausible without regret.