Here's how lung cancer patients should take care during air pollution | Health - Hindustan Times
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Here's how lung cancer patients should take care during air pollution

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Jan 04, 2024 09:15 PM IST

It is crucial for lung cancer patients to be aware of the potential risks of air pollution and adopt strategies to minimise exposure. Follow these measures

With the alarming increase in air pollution levels across the country, lung cancer patients need to take extra precautions to protect their health as air pollution can worsen respiratory symptoms and lead to complications for those already battling lung cancer. The harmful pollutants present in the air, such as fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, can irritate the lungs, trigger inflammation, promote genetic mutations and impair immune responses all of which contribute to the complexity of lung cancer in patients.

A view of Indrapuram area amid rising air pollution levels in Ghaziabad , India on Thursday, January 04 2024. Here's how lung cancer patients should take care during air pollution (Photo by Sakib Ali /Hindustan Times)
A view of Indrapuram area amid rising air pollution levels in Ghaziabad , India on Thursday, January 04 2024. Here's how lung cancer patients should take care during air pollution (Photo by Sakib Ali /Hindustan Times)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Ravikumar Wategaonkar, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Onco Life Cancer Center in Satara and Pune, shared, “Air pollution can significantly impact treatment outcomes for lung cancer patients. Various studies revealed that individuals living in polluted areas have poorer response rates to chemotherapy drugs commonly used for lung cancer than those residing in cleaner environments. It is crucial for lung cancer patients to be aware of the potential risks and adopt strategies to minimize exposure.”

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He suggested that lung cancer patients should follow these measures:

  • One key step that lung cancer patients can take is to stay indoors during peak pollution hours, typically early mornings and late evenings. During these times, pollutant concentrations are usually at their highest levels. Indoor activities such as reading, listening to music, or practicing relaxation techniques can help pass the time while avoiding exposure. In case you are required to step outside then use a mask without fail. Additionally, using air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters indoors will help remove harmful particles from the air.
  • Another essential aspect of managing air pollution for lung cancer patients is ensuring good indoor air quality. This includes regular maintenance of heating and cooling systems and keeping windows closed during high-pollution days.
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating nutrient-rich foods and staying physically active can enhance overall well-being and strengthen resilience against environmental stressors like air pollution.

By being proactive in reducing exposure to outdoor pollutants and maintaining clean indoor environments, lung cancer patients can mitigate potential health risks associated with air pollution.

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