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Home » Lung cancer » How to prevent lung cancer in non-smokers? – Prominent lung cancer surgeon
How to prevent lung cancer in non-smokers? – Prominent lung cancer surgeon
What can reduce lung cancer risks if you don’t smoke? Role of radon, genetics and other implicated factors in lung cancer:
– What can a nonsmoker do to reduce risks of lung cancer? And is there a lifestyle, dietary or perhaps lung cancer chemoprevention strategy that could help people to reduce the risks of lung cancer? Because lung cancer also happens in non-smokers. – Yes, so that’s a very interesting question – that we don’t have great answers to. So what are your risk for lung cancer outside of tobacco? If you’re a nonsmoker and you’re thinking about your risk for lung cancer. So some of the things we’ve learned over the years would be things that you are exposed to: secondhand smoke, which is hard to quantify. If you’re in an environment that has a high radon count, which in Massachusetts here in the US, there’s high radon counts that you often see because of a lot of rock. And the rock breaks down uranium. And so you see these counts in basements. And if you live in your basement or even in the house in a high radon count, that could be a risk for lung cancer. – The natural environments with high radon counts would be the older stone houses? Like those common in the UK… – Yes. Or [stones] in the ground. So not necessarily a house filled with that, but just that the ground harbors these these kind of [high radon concentrations] – Not aerated well environment? – Exactly. And the way you would mitigate radon is that you basically ventilate. You move the radon gas through a basement or a house. If you’re around a wood-burning stove all your life – that is a lung cancer risk. If you are in silicon or a silica type mine – that’s a lung cancer risk. If you’re around coal all the time – that’s a lung cancer risk. I mean, there’s environmental lung cancer risk that you can mitigate. And then what if you’re not around any of those things? So diet-wise, we don’t really know if there’s a difference. People have looked at high-dose vitamin D and green tea as being diet modulations that [could reduce lung caner risks]. Often, if you had cancer, probably it might do something, but if you don’t have cancer, I’m not sure if it’s chemopreventative. So for lung cancer we don’t really have a chemoprevention strategy. All we say is, “balanced diet, avoid exposures to environmental things, of course, avoid smoking, try to avoid secondhand smoke.” There is genetic basis for developing lung cancer. There are some family lines that have genetic mutations that are susceptible to lung cancer. – So family history of lung cancer is important to know about… – Yes, it is, particularly in non-smokers. We can’t say much about the smokers, because they’re all exposed to this environmental antigen [carcinogen]. But in non-smokers that’s very important, whether other family members who are non-smokers, had lung cancer. I think there isn’t a whole lot more to say about it, but it is an interesting area, not really well investigated. – That’s a very interesting topic for a lot of people around the world that’s for sure.