How to Keep Lung Cancer Hidden

Did You Know…that lung cancer can lie dormant for up to 20 years… and that you can prevent it from ever “turning on?”

Cancer Research UK scientists just published a study in the journal Science indicating lung cancer can remain hidden in the body for 20 years before developing into the aggressive and deadly cancer that steals hundreds of thousands of lives each year.  Researchers examined the impact of smoking on the disease, but also revealed that a number of other factors can drive the disease to its aggressive form as the cancer unsuspectingly grows.

In a statement made to Medical News Today, Dr. Noel Snell, director of research at the British Lung Foundation, explained why this research is so relevant:


“This exciting new research suggests that if they could be diagnosed at a very early stage… we might be able to tackle the disease earlier and dramatically improve survival rates.”

The Low Down on Lung Cancer 

Lung cancer is the deadliest of all cancers, but it is also the most preventable.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 207,339 Americans were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2011, and in that same year, 156,953 died.  Lung cancer is the manifestation of an overgrowth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs, typically the lung cells that surround the air passage.  Smoke is responsible for approximately 87% of lung cancer diagnoses.  Other risk factors include secondhand smoke, other tobacco products, a family history of lung cancer, and exposure to toxic chemicals and substances.


Lung Cancer Doesn’t Need to Happen

The good news is that even if lung cancer is lying dormant in your body, you can prevent it from ever turning on by following the lung cancer prevention techniques below.

Expert Advice: Keep the Lung Cancer Gene Switched Off  


  • Stop Smoking
    Even if you’ve smoked for years, you can dramatically decrease your risk for developing lung cancer if you stop smoking now.
  • Eat Antioxidant-rich Fruits and Veggies
    According to a review of thousands of studies conducted by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research, broccoli, berries, and garlic possess particularly potent anti-cancer properties.  Add some strawberries, spinach, and carrots to your diet for extra protection!
  • Know What NOT to Eat
    Diets high in processed meats, red meat, salty foods, trans fats and industrial seed oils (like canola oil), and sugary beverages have been linked to an increased risk for cancer.
  • Get Your Home Tested for Radon
    When uranium breaks down, it makes radon, a radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell, feel, or taste.  Homes built on natural uranium deposits may be contaminated with high levels of indoor radon.  Contact your local public health department or the American Lung Association to inquire about radon testing in your area.
  • Be Safe in the Workplace
    Know what chemicals and toxins lurk in your workplace and protect yourself accordingly.  Always use any protective gear or covering provided, such as a facemask.
  • Avoid Secondhand Smoke
    Secondhand smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes is filled with 60 known cancer-causing agents.  Avoid bars and restaurants that allow smoking, and limit your dealings with smokers.