How is non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) prevented?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Cigarette smoking is the most common etiologic factor for lung cancer; thus, the primary way to decrease the prevalence of lung cancer is to decrease the prevalence of smoking. Some measures for doing so include the following:

  • Public education about the hazards of smoking

  • More stringent legislation for tobacco control, including the increase of tax levies

  • Banning of tobacco smoking in public areas - Exposure to second-hand smoke and other respiratory toxins in the workplace has decreased as a result of federal legislation

  • Offering comprehensive strategies for smoking cessation to smokers, which include behavioral counseling, pharmaceutical aids such as varenicline, bupropion, and nicotine replacement therapy (eg, gum, transdermal patches)

Combining nicotine replacement, bupropion, and social or behavioral support can increase the quit rate to 35%. [223]

Although the relative risk of cancer does not decline to baseline levels for as long as 10 years after cessation, linked conditions (eg, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) show more rapid improvement or stabilization. [224]

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