Tag Archive for: lung cancer

Understand Lung Cancer

By Olivia Wong, DO Family Medicine Resident PGY-1

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States for men and women. About 218,500 people in the United States are diagnosed with lung cancer each year, and sadly about 142,000 people die from the disease each year.

The Facts About Lung Cancer

Risk Factors:

  • Smoking is the most common cause (Approximately 9 out of 10 cases of lung cancer)
  • Secondhand smoke, family history of lung cancers, history of breast or chest radiation therapy
  • Exposures to: radon, soot, tar, asbestos, nickel, chromium, arsenic

Lung Cancer Screening:

  • According to the United States Preventive Services Task Force, they recommend screening with low-dose CT scan in individuals who meet all of the below criteria:
    • Adults 50 – 80 years old
    • 20 pack-year smoking history (pack-year calculation: number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day x number of years the person has smoked)
    • Those who currently smoke OR have quite within the past 15 years.


  • Symptoms vary among different people. However, many don’t experience any symptoms until advanced stages of lung cancer

What Can You Do About Lung Cancer?

  • Do not start smoking
  • Quit if you smoke

There are many health benefits no matter what age you quit, how long you have smoked, or how much you have smoked.

Health Benefits of Quitting:

  • Within minutes: Your heart rate and blood pressure improve
  • 24 – 48 Hours – Your nicotine levels in the body drops to zero and lungs start to clear mucus and debris
  • 1-12 Months – Your cough and breathing improves
  • 1 – 2 years – Your risk of heart attack decreases
  • 3 – 6 years – Your added risk of coronary artery disease decreases by half
  • 5 – 10 years – Your added risk of mouth and throat cancers decrease by half and your added risk of stroke decreases
  • 10 -15 years – Your added risk of lung cancer decreases by half
  • 15 years – Your risk of coronary heart disease decreases to be that of someone who does not smoke
  • 20 years – Your risk of mouth and throat cancers decreases to be that of someone who does not smoke

For help quitting, make an appointment with your NOAH provider, visit cdc.gov/quit, call 1 (800) QUIT-NOW (784-8669), or text “QUIT” to 47848. We are here to help you!

Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Cancer Prevention

By Mina Goodman, RDN

While there is still much research to be done on what causes cancer, there are still some easy tips for cancer prevention and healthy living.

To reduce your risk, consider these tips:

  •  Limit processed and fatty meats – these include bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and lunch meats. Try for more fish, poultry, and plant based proteins (beans, tofu, tempeh, seitan, nuts, seeds, or soy products).
  • Choose foods with more nutrients – limit added sugars, sodium, saturated fats and trans fats. Look for choices rich in vitamins and minerals instead such as fruits, vegetables, and other plant based foods.
  • Eat more plants – these include, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Aim for 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily!
  • Increase (or maintain) your level of physical activity – try to move your body for at least 30 minutes a day, most days. This can be walking, biking, swimming, dancing, online workouts, or whatever you enjoy.
  • Avoid alcohol – if you do choose to drink, limit your intake to one serving a day for women or two servings a day for men. One serving is estimated at 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
  • Avoid tobacco or smoking in any form – if you need help quitting find the resources you need at NOAH
  • Drink plenty of water – drink at least eight 8 oz. glasses per day (64 oz. or 4 bottles of water or to drink half your body weight in ounces (so someone weighing 200lbs would drink 100oz daily).
  • Try a Mediterranean diet – this way of eating focuses on plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. When possible choose healthy fats, such as olive oil, over butter and fish instead of red meat.

Getting started on a healthier lifestyle can be one way to focus efforts on cancer prevention and to prevent other diseases. Working with one of NOAH’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionists is a great first start. Make an appointment today!