Cancer Awareness and Prevention

Cancer Awareness and Prevention Photo

Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the risk of getting cancer. This can include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding exposure to known cancer-causing substances, and taking medicines or vaccines that can prevent cancer from developing.

Lung cancer risk is largely a function of older age combined with extensive cigarette smoking history. Lung cancer is more common in men than women and in those of lower socioeconomic status. Patterns of lung cancer according to demographic characteristics tend to be strongly correlated with historical patterns of cigarette smoking prevalence. An exception to this is the very high rate of lung cancer in African American men, a group whose very high lung cancer death rate is not explainable simply by historical smoking patterns.

In non-smokers, important lung cancer risk factors are exposure to second-hand smoke, exposure to ionizing radiation, and occupational exposure to lung carcinogens, such as asbestos. Radiation exposures relevant to the general population include environmental exposure to radon and radiation exposures administered in the medical care setting, particularly when administered at high doses, such as radiation therapy to the chest or breast. Cigarette smoking often interacts with these other factors. There are several examples, including radon exposure and asbestos exposure, in which the combined exposure to cigarette smoke plus another risk factor results in an increase in risk that is much greater than the sum of the risks associated with each factor alone.

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