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Lung Cancer Prevention and Screening

Lung Cancer Screening

Cancer screening exams are important medical tests done when you’re at risk but don’t have symptoms. They help find cancer at its earliest stage, when the chances for successful treatment are best.

Unfortunately, no standardized screening tests have been shown to improve lung cancer outcomes. However, here at MD Anderson, we’re working to develop screening tests for those at risk.

Lung Cancer Risk Factors

Anything that increases your chance of getting lung cancer is a risk factor. Smoking is the main risk factor for lung cancer.

  • Smoking tobacco in cigarettes, cigars or pipes is responsible for 87% of lung cancer cases in the United States
  • The more years you smoke and the greater amount you smoke, the higher your risk of lung cancer
  • If you stop smoking, your risk becomes lower as time goes by
  • If you smoke and have other risk factors, your chance of getting lung cancer is higher 
  • Read more about MD Anderson’s smoking cessation clinical trials

Other risk factors for lung cancer include:

  • Family history of lung cancer
  • Previous lung cancer
  • Exposure to certain materials including radiation, arsenic, radon, chromium, nickel, soot, tar or asbestos
  • Radiation therapy to the breast or chest
  • Air pollution
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Lung diseases such as tuberculosis (TB)

Not everyone with risk factors develops lung cancer. However, if you have risk factors, it’s a good idea to discuss them with your doctor.

If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • Latest, most-advanced lung cancer treatments including delivery of chemotherapy by nanoparticles, minimally invasive surgical techniques, targeted therapies and gene therapies
  • Leading-edge radiotherapy approaches including proton therapy, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and stereotactic radiotherapy
  • Focus on saving lung function and reducing damage to healthy tissue
  • Nationally recognized lung cancer research program, range of clinical trials
  • Lung cancer is part of MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program: an ambitious effort to reduce cancer deaths through the rapid discovery of new treatments

Lung Cancer Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

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Lung Cancer Prevention

You can take action to reduce your risk of developing lung cancer. MD Anderson suggests these steps:

  • Stop tobacco use. Read more about MD Anderson’s smoking cessation clinical trials
  • Avoid secondhand smoke
  • Use protective equipment when you are around dangerous substances and pollutants

Research shows that many cancers can be prevented. Visit the Prevention section of our website to find out steps you can take to avoid cancer.

© 2016 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center