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Common Fruits and Vegetable Varieties May Reduce the Risks of Commonly-fatal Lung Cancer

Simply by eating a wide variety of rich fruits and vegetables, Lung cancer risks can be easily reduced among smokers.

The world is dotted with over a billion cigarette smokers, all of which are at risk of developing certain types of cancer. In the United States, lung cancer is a dreaded fatal condition that accounts as the leading cause of cancer-related deaths, regardless of gender. Smokers are aware of the huge numbers associated with risks and fatalities. However, the addictive component of tobacco and cigarettes prevail in most instances.

Based on a recent study, cessation from smoking is still the most definite and proven way of reducing the risk of lung cancer, but another method may contribute to decreasing lung cancer risks effectively. It implies that if a smoker is yet to quit the habit, he can at least start with reducing lung cancer risks through eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Lung Cancer

All types of cancer are characterized by changes that occur in cells, which result in the cell’s physical and behavioral abnormality. This leads to lung cancer when the uncontrolled cell growth starts to take place in one or both longs.

The deviant cells continuously reproduce and divide, which thus lead to tumor formation, or lumps of tissue. Tumors intervene with the major lung activity of providing oxygen to the bloodstream, and may either be malignant or benign. If it is benign, the tumor remains in a single place and its growth is limited; while malignant tumors develop due to migrating cancer cells that spread to other body parts. Metastasis occurs when the malignant tumor grows and destroys other tissues.

Lung cancer is usually categorized into two main types: small-lung cancer and non-small lung cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma is classified under non-small cell lung cancers. Tumours that develop from squamous cells — cells that take the place of damaged cells in the bronchi’s lining — are often located in the lung’s central area and may possibly form cavities.

Squamous cell carcinoma is most often caused by smoking, and it accounts for approximately 30% of all cases of lung cancer.

The Research Breakthrough: Variety over Quantity

A wealthy line of research and evidence has already proven the significance of eating fruits and vegetables to maintain and improve health. However, the recent research added a new twist to the common “fruits and vegetables are beneficial for your health” notion. Published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, the study yielded findings that indicate the potential role of eating fruits and vegetables in reducing lung cancer risks among smokers.

It involved 450,000 Europeans and with 1,600 participants that were already diagnosed with lung cancer disease; along with 14 fruits and 26 vegetables that came as canned, fresh, and dried. Two particularly notable details were discovered: squamous cell carcinoma risk decreased through eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, regardless of quantity.

From the old “eat lots of fruits and vegetables”, a new perspective arose: Eat diverse kinds of fruits and vegetables.

The Wallin Land Grant Professor of Cancer Prevention at the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center and a current member of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention’s editorial board, Stephen Hecht, said that the study was one of the first to assess the importance of diversity over quantity for the prevention of cancer development.

Hecht further stated that the need for fruit variety stems from the fact that tobacco smoke has various cancer-inducing agents or carcinogens, all of which are intricately and complexly mixed. As such, reducing the risk of lung cancer warrants also a rich mixture of protective factors and agents, such as the diverse and healthy fruits and vegetables used in the study.

Smokers, the number of which consistently reaches an alarming scale worldwide, find it difficult to quit the smoking habit, despite exerting a large amount of effort into successfully leaving the cigarette behind. Hecht acknowledged the smoking statistics and smokers’ struggle, and commented that the new discovery showed how struggling smokers can, at least, potentially employ the protective factor found in a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Exploring Other Natural Protective Factors

The study that was earlier discussed further added to the attention and credibility that natural treatment remedies deserve. Fortunately, there are other natural protective factors and risk-reducing methods that are mostly beneficial and efficient. Furthermore, these are worthy of people’s choice, especially those who do not wish to incur more complications and side effects due to taking prescribed and chemical-filled drugs.

The following are some other natural preventive measures:

1. Avoid all forms of tobacco.

Of course, readers must be cautious of thinking that the recent study encourages smoking. The researchers added a disclaimer: Despite interesting study results, the only proven way of lung cancer risk reduction is through avoiding all forms of tobacco. As such, non-smokers must not smoke in the first place; occasional smokers should quit while they are yet to become addicted; and chronic smokers should at least strive to stop the habit now.

Tobacco smoke reportedly contains more than 60 known carcinogens. Because carcinogens interrupt the normal development and growth of cells, it enables cancer to initially take form. Quitting, then, is the best tactic in reducing lung cancer risks. Second-hand smoke — which is generally the exhaled smoke pipes, cigarettes, and cigars that people inhale — should also be avoided.

2. Stop Inhaling High Levels of Radon

If smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, a second leading cause follows it: Radon. Approximately 22,000 fatalities due to lung cancer are significantly related to radon.

Radon is a radioactive gas that arises from normal uranium decay in the soil, which eventually spreads in the air. It is difficult to sense the presence of this gas through the 5 basic senses. Along with uranium’s quick decay, tiny radioactive particles are produced and diffused in the air. Inhalation of the said radioactive particles potentially damage lung cells. As such, frequent exposure to and inhalation of radon at high levels enable lung cancer to develop.

While the links are yet to be firmly established, statistics show that a combination of smoking and radon gas exposure heightens lung cancer risks, than when these risk factors operate separately.

With the given information, it is wise for people to test their homes for radon levels. Soil composition and proximity heightens radon levels indoors. There are several short-term and long-term testing devices available, all of which are relatively affordable. For further aid, people should consult their state or local radon official.

3. Physical activity for lung cancer prevention and improved survival rate

Given the wide array of benefits that physical activity and exercise provide, and the conditions that can be prevented, it is not surprising to note that lung cancer belongs to these fatal diseases. Furthermore, according to a 2007 study that was included in the Sixth Annual International Conference on Cancer Prevention of the American Association for Cancer Research, besides lung cancer prevention, exercise can improve the survival chances of those who are already diagnosed.

Sources
newsmaxhealth.com
aacr.org
intro: umm.edu
cancer.gov
cancer.about.com
medicinenet.com
theajcf.org

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