SCLC is one of the less common types of lung cancer accounting for around 20% of all diagnoses. It is often referred to as oat cell carcinoma because the small cells of the lungs look similar to oats. SCLC develops when the small cells of the lung start to grow in a rapid and uncontrolled way leading to the formation of malignant (cancerous) tumours. Unfortunately the outlook for people who contract SCLC is bleak with the five year survival rate being less than 20%. However, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your chances of developing this disease. In this article I will be discussing three things you can do to prevent small cell lung cancer.
1) QUIT SMOKING:- Smoking has been scientifically proven to cause a number of cancers. However, it is most strongly linked with lung cancers. The reason for this is that cigarettes contain over 70 carcinogens (chemicals that are known to cause cancer). Every time you inhale the smoke from a cigarette these carcinogens go straight to your lungs greatly increasing the chance of cancerous growths in the small cells of your lungs. Therefore, by quitting smoking you can significantly lower your chances of developing SCLC.
2) AVOID OTHER HARMFUL SUBSTANCES:- Although smoking is by far the most significant risk factor for SCLC there are a number of other chemicals that have been linked with this condition. Uranium, radon (which is created by the breakdown of uranium) and asbestos are all thought to increase your likelihood of contracting SCLC. When combined with smoking these substances are thought to be an even more significant SCLC risk. Therefore, by avoiding these chemicals you can help prevent small cell lung cancer.
3) EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES:- Although the research is not conclusive a number of studies have suggested that fruits and vegetables can help prevent SCLC. This is thought to be because they are rich in anti-oxidants, flavenoids and vital vitamins. All these ingredients work together to prevent cellular damage which reduces the chances of the cells becoming cancerous. Therefore, by increasing your consumption of fruit and vegetables you could lower your chances of developing SCLC.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article the survival rate for this type of cancer is low. However, you can have a large influence over how likely you are to contract SCLC. By quitting smoking and avoiding smoky environments you can drastically reduce your risk but by doing the other things listed in this article too you can prevent small cell lung cancer even further. SCLC can be prevented and I hope this article has shown you how.
Whilst every intention has been made to make this article accurate and informative, it is intended for general information only. Small cell lung cancer is a very serious, life threatening condition and you should discuss any concerns, treatments or lifestyle changes fully with your doctor.