5 cases of lung cancer in nonsmokers

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1. Overview

Between 10-15% of lung cancers are diagnosed in people who have never smoked, most of them women.

Statistics show that 1 in 5 women diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked, compared to 1 in 10 men.


1. Overview
2. How do we know if we suffer from lung cancer or if there’s a high risk of developing it?
3. 5 cases of lung cancer in nonsmokers

2. How do we know if we suffer from lung cancer or if there’s a high risk of developing it?

Like smokers, nonsmokers could talk to their doctor in order to learn which are the risk factors for lung cancer. Many nonsmokers are diagnosed when consulting their doctor for a simple cough or flu symptoms.

A chest X-ray or a CT scan may reveal the presence of lung tumors. Together with your doctor can develop a screening plan and monitor your overall health.

3. 5 cases of lung cancer in nonsmokers

1. Passive smoking or inhaling tobacco smoke released by other smokers is one of the main risk factors. If nonsmokers live with a smoker, the risk of developing lung cancer increases by 25% compared with other nonsmokers.

Each year, it is estimated that thousands of people die from lung cancer triggered by passive smoking.

2. Radon is a gas that is formed when uranium decays. Exposure to this gas is another known cause of lung cancer. People who smoke or inhale radon are more likely to develop lung cancer compared to nonsmokers who inhaled the same gas.

Radon can move through soil and can enter homes through gaps in the foundation, pipes, drains or other openings. It is invisible and has no odor but can be detected using simple test kits.

3. Asbestos is a compound widely used in the past as thermal and acoustic insulation. Microscopic asbestos fibers can be drawn from insulation materials, being then released into the air and inhaled into the lungs. They can persist throughout a person’s life in lung tissue.

The specialists associate the lung cancer with asbestos exposure, and, in addition to this, there is also a type of cancer known as mesothelioma that is also associated with the inhaling of this material. Smoking increases drastically the possibility of lung cancer development related to asbestos. Today, asbestos use is highly limited or totally forbidden in many countries.

4. Individual genetic susceptibility plays a role in causing lung cancer. Numerous studies have shown that rather lung cancer occurs in smokers and non-smokers whose relatives suffered from lung cancer.

5. Air pollution due to vehicles, industry and power plants can raise the likelihood of a person developing lung cancer. Several thousand lung cancer deaths per year are attributable to breathing polluted air. Also prolonged exposure to highly polluted air may increase the risk of developing lung cancer similar to that of passive smoking.



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