Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer. For people who do not smoke but are exposed to second-hand smoke at home or at work, second-hand smoke can significantly increase the risk.
In the United States, more than 230,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. No one knows whether this disease will develop, but understanding the risk factors of lung cancer can help you take preventive measures to reduce your chances of developing this disease.
What causes lung cancer?
Lung cancer occurs when the mutant cells in the lung grow out of control and form tumors. In many cases, these altered cells die or are attacked by the immune system. But some cells escape the immune system and lose control, forming tumors in the lungs.
Although the exact cause of a person’s lung cancer may not be known, certain risk factors are closely related to the disease, especially smoking. In addition, long-term exposure to certain chemicals, gases or pollutants can increase the risk of lung cancer.
The main cause of lung cancer
Known risk factors for lung cancer include:
Age risk: Approximately two-thirds of lung cancer cases are diagnosed in people over 65 years old, and most people are over 45 years old. The average age at diagnosis was 71 years.
Family history: Genetic factors can make some people susceptible to lung cancer. People whose family members have lung cancer may be more susceptible to this disease.
Smoking and second-hand smoke: Smoking is considered the main cause of lung cancer. For people who do not smoke but are exposed to second-hand smoke at home or at work, second-hand smoke can significantly increase their risk of lung cancer. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reported that about 9 out of 10 lung cancer cases in men smoked, and about 8 out of 10 lung cancer cases in women smoked.
Exposure to asbestos or other pollutants: Carcinogenic chemicals in the workplace can increase your risk of lung cancer, especially if you smoke.
Radon exposure: Radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas found in some households and is the main cause of lung cancer.