Lung Cancer (small cell) Overview

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Causes, Risk Factors, and Prevention TOPICS

Can small cell lung cancer be prevented?

Some people who get lung cancer do not have any clear risk factors. Although we know how to prevent most lung cancers, at this time we don’t know how to prevent all of them.

The best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is not to smoke. You should also avoid breathing in other people’s smoke.

If you smoke, stopping can help lower your risk of getting lung cancer. If you stop smoking before a cancer starts, your damaged lungs gradually repair themselves. No matter what your age or how long you’ve smoked, quitting may lower your risk of lung cancer and help you live longer. If you would like help quitting smoking, see our Guide to Quitting Smoking or call us at 1-800-227-2345.

Radon is also a cause of lung cancer. You can lower your exposure by having your home tested and treated, if needed. For more information, see our document Radon.

Protecting yourself from cancer-causing chemicals at work and elsewhere can also be helpful. When people work where these chemicals are common, exposure should be kept as low as possible.

A good diet with lots of fruits and vegetables may also help reduce your risk of lung cancer.


Last Medical Review: 09/09/2014
Last Revised: 09/09/2014