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Lung Cancer Prevention and Detection Basics

Lung Cancer Prevention and Detection Basics

Lung and bronchus cancers are the deadliest. They’re responsible for about 160,000 deaths each year in the U.S., where around 225,000 cases are diagnosed annually. Some risk factors are uncontrollable, but you do have influence over most of the biggest—especially the decision not to smoke. Successful treatment generally relies on early detection and intervention.

Lung and Bronchus Cancer Risk Factors

  • Use of inhaled tobacco products
  • Prolonged exposure to other smokers’ secondhand smoke
  • A family history of lung or bronchus cancer (especially affecting close relatives)
  • Being infected with HIV or AIDS
  • Exposure to radon (a radioactive gas that is sometimes released into homes and buildings)
  • Exposure to asbestos, soot, tar, arsenic, nickel, beryllium, chromium, or cadmium
  • Prolonged exposure to air pollution

How to Lower Your Risk of Lung and Bronchus Cancer

  • Quit smoking—or never start
  • Stay away from secondhand smoke
  • Place a radon detector in your home
  • Exercise for at least 30-45 minutes most days of the week
  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables

Encouraging Early Detection of Lung and Bronchus Cancer

  • Lung and bronchus cancers have no standard screening tests
  • If you experience common signs or symptoms like a chronic cough, wheezing, unexplained hoarseness, coughing up blood, trouble breathing and/or swallowing, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, chest pain, or low energy, consult your doctor right away
  • Complete ordered diagnostic testing promptly, such as chest x-rays, other imaging, sputum cytology (testing of a mucus sample), bronchoscopies, or biopsy


Visit our directory for resources that can guide you in your search for treatment and care options, financial support and cancer survivor support.


NWFCCC works to reduce the burden of cancer on area residents by increasing access to cancer information and services, by developing and implementing cancer control projects for the public and healthcare professionals, and by promoting awareness of prevention and early detection practices.



You will receive one monthly email with information about cancer prevention, treatment, and survivorship. We will also include information on upcoming meetings and workshops.

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