Wednesday, July 3, 2024

​Lung Cancer Risk Among Non-Smokers: Major Risk Factors to Know​

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01/7 ​Lung cancer comprises 5.9% of all cancer cases in India​

Lung Cancer

As per a health study, lung cancer accounts for 5.9% of all cancer cases in the country and 8.1% of all cancer deaths that happened in 2021 nationwide.

The prevalence of smoking in patients with lung cancer is nearly 80%, the study found, which means a big number of those who have lung cancer are non-smokers.

This draws our attention to the fact that what causes lung cancer in those who do not smoke.

02/7​ Lung cancer in non-smokers are mostly adenocarcinomas​

adenocarcinoma

As per the US CDC, more than 50% of the lung cancer found in those who never smoked as adenocarcinomas or the cancer that begin in the cells that line the lung’s tiny air sacs and make substances such as mucus.

Close to 20% of the lung cancer in non smokers form in the flat cells lining the inner part of the lungs.

03/7 ​Secondhand smoke

Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is one of the biggest risk factors of lung cancer in those who never smoked. A report by the American Cancer Society has found that about 7,000 adults die of lung cancer due to secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke, has higher concentration of nicotine and carcinogen.

Secondhand smoke is the reason behind cancer at larynx, nasopharynx, nasal sinuses and even breast.

04/7 ​Occupational Hazard

Lung Cancer 1

Many people develop lung cancer, even when they are not smoking, from the cancer causing agents at work.

People who work in places where there is arsenic, uranium, asbestos and diesel exhaust are more at risk for developing lung cancer.

05/7​ Radon

Radon

Radon, a decay of Uranium 238, is a potential risk factor for lung cancer. It is present in the environment.

People who are exposed to radon are 10 times more likely to develop lung cancer.

As per the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Radon exposure causes more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in a year.

In order to avoid indoor radon, increase airflow in your house.

06/7​ Genetic Predisposition

Genetic PredispositionSeveral studies have found that a family history of lung cancer makes an individual more prone to the condition.

“If you have a family member who had lung cancer, you are as twice as likely to develop cancer as someone without a family history of lung cancer. For people who have two or more first-degree relatives (brothers, sisters, parents or children) who developed lung cancer, the chances of developing lung cancer are even higher. In families with a history of lung cancer, there is no such thing as a safe cigarette or a safe level of exposure to smoking,” experts at John Hopkins explain.

07/7​What are the symptoms one should know?​

Old Woman

 

The common signs of lung cancer are:

A new persistent cough

Blood traces in cough

Difficulty in breathing

Chest pain

Change in voice

Unexplained weight loss

Extreme pain in the bones

Severe headache

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