You already know that lung cancer can develop in someone who’s never smoked a cigaretteand that the disease is linked to lifestyle risk factors, like exposure to radon and asbestos. The good news is that there are many positive habits you can adopt to significantly lower your cancer risk. According to a 2010 study in the journal Cancer Letters, lifestyle has a significant impact on whether or not you develop a variety of cancers, including lung cancer. Changing the way you live, including what you eat, whether you exercise or not, and what you’re exposed to in your day-to-day environment can make a huge difference in your level of risk.
Elke Cooke, MD, who specializes in preventative medicine at BodyLogicMD in Sacramento, California, says, “Anyone can get lung cancer, but 90 percent of lung cancer cases are the result of smoking (this includes cigarettes, cigars and pipes).” For the other 10 percent of lung cancer cases, it’s a bit more complicated to determine the exact cause, but science has pointed to ways you can decrease your risk. Here are 10 things you can do today to reduce your risk of developing lung cancer.
1Stick to a healthy weight
A healthy body mass index (BMI) is between 18.9 and 24.9, which makes a difference in your overall cancer risk, according to Dr. Cooke. The higher your BMI hovers over 24, the more you’re at risk for lung cancer and other illnesses. If you’re overweight, make sure you’re getting enough exercise or eating a nutritious diet filled with anti-inflammatory-rich foods. Being at a healthy weight also helps ensure you don’t develop heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases