Reducing your risk of lung cancer

Two women embrace each other in a hug

Did you know that lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada? 1 in 15 Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime.

The good news is about 86% of lung cancer cases are due to modifiable risk factors. Together, we can reduce the number of lung cancer cases in the future by decreasing tobacco smoking and reducing exposure to cancer-causing substances in our homes and workplaces.

It’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month – here are 3 actions you can take to help reduce your lung cancer risk.

Live smoke-free
Don’t use any tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes or chewing tobacco. Avoid second-hand smoke. If you smoke, we are here to help you quit. Stopping smoking at any age lowers your risk for lung cancer.
Test your home for radon
Radon is present everywhere in Canada in different amounts and can accumulate in homes. The age of your home is not a good indicator of how high indoor radon levels could be. The only way to know how much radon is in your home is to test. Take action to lower levels if they are high.
Protect yourself from carcinogens
  • Be informed. Know what substances increase the risk of lung cancer. Find out if there are harmful products or substances in or around your home or workplace.
  • Make safer decisions. For example, avoid idling your vehicle, or dig out weeds at their roots instead of using pesticides.
  • Follow safety instructions when using, storing and disposing of harmful materials or chemicals. Read and carefully follow the manufacturers’ directions for safely using and storing hazardous chemicals at home and at work.

Making changes to reduce your cancer risk doesn’t mean that you won’t get cancer. It means that your chance of getting cancer is lower.

People with lung cancer often have to deal with stigma based on unfair or inaccurate beliefs about the disease and its causes. Lung cancer stigma has an impact across all areas of cancer care and control and can negatively affect every facet of the lung cancer community. It’s important to remember that lung cancer has many causes, and everyone deserves care and support throughout the cancer experience. 

To learn more about lung cancer, visit