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Lung Cancer Prevention and Screening

Not all cases of lung cancer can be prevented, but the best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is not to smoke and to avoid breathing in other people's smoke.

According to the National Cancer Institute people who stop smoking and never start again lower their risk of developing lung cancer or of having it come back. Many products, such as nicotine gum, nicotine sprays, nicotine inhalers, nicotine patches, or nicotine lozenges, as well as antidepressant drugs may be helpful to people trying to quit smoking. Never smoking lowers the risk of dying from lung cancer.

If you would like help quitting smoking, here are resources that may help:

  • How to Stop Smoking
  • Tobacco: How to Quit (Part of "Breaking the Habits Beating Us" - includes information on how to quit using smokeless tobacco)
  • American Cancer Society: 1-800-227-2345
  • University of Michigan’s Tobacco Consultation Program at 734-998-6222

Lung Cancer Screening and Early Detection

Adults aged 50-80 who have a smoked an average of a pack a day for 20 years, and who currently smoke or who have quit smoking within the last 15 years.

If you (or someone you know) may be at risk, you and your doctor should discuss all the known benefits and known harms associated with lung cancer screening. If you decide to be screened, the recommendation specifies that testing should be done with a low dose computed tomography (CT) scan and take place at a facility with experience in lung cancer screening. , please see our lung cancer screening guide page.

Lung Cancer and Family/Genetic Risk

There is research to suggest some families may have a genetic mutation in their lungs which leave them at a higher risk for developing diseases of the lung, including lung cancer. If there have been several instances in your family with people developing serious lung/respiratory problems including, but not limited to, lung cancer, you may want to seek advice from our Cancer Genetics Clinic.

If you have further questions, please contact our Cancer AnswerLine™ at 1-800-865-1125. This number is staffed by experienced oncology nurses who will provide you with a personal response to your question.

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