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5 Risk Factors for Lung Cancer

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The American Cancer Society estimates approximately 221,200 new cases of lung cancer in 2015 and about 158,040 deaths from the disease. To help your loved one reduce the risk of lung cancer, the staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder home care Bloomfield families trust, has put together a list of 5 causes to watch for.

1. Smoking

Smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. If your loved one smokes, you should encourage him or her to quit as soon as possible. If your loved one is having difficulty kicking the habit, his or her doctor can recommend prescription and over-the-counter smoking cessation aids. Many smokers also benefit from counseling, hypnotherapy, and smoking cessation support groups.

2. Secondhand Smoke

Studies show frequent, prolonged secondhand smoke exposure increases the risk of developing lung cancer similar to firsthand smoking. Your loved one can limit exposure to secondhand smoke with the following measures:

• Avoid public places where smoking is allowed.
• Don’t allow smoking even outside the home. Smoke can seep in through windows and doors.
• Avoid traveling in vehicles used by smokers, since the smoke can become trapped in the upholstery and air conditioning system.

3. Contact with Carcinogens in the Workplace

Substances such as asbestos, arsenic, nickel, and chromium can increase the risk of developing lung cancer. These materials are used in industries such as shipbuilding, plumbing, and construction. If your loved one worked in a job where he or she was exposed to these substances, you should consult with his or her doctor about routine screening measures.

4. Exposure to Radon

Radon is a gas produced by the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, water, or rock. The gas can accumulate in unsafe levels inside homes and other buildings, increasing the risk of lung cancer. The best protection against radon is to purchase an inexpensive testing kit at a home improvement store. Professional remediation services and mitigation systems are available to correct high radon levels.

5. Family History

People with a close relative with lung cancer are likely to develop lung cancer themselves. If your loved one has a strong family history of lung cancer, his or her doctor can recommend appropriate screenings.

If you’re concerned about your loved one’s health, but need help providing care for him or her at home, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Reach out to Home Care Assistance for part-time and live-in care that can help promote your loved one’s overall wellbeing. Our caregivers can assist with a wide variety of tasks such as exercise, cooking, cleaning, and transportation to medical appointments. We also offer post-stroke, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s care for Bloomfield seniors who have more comprehensive needs. For more information on our senior care services, please call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 248.283.0835 to schedule a free in-home consultation.