Lung cancer risk factors

Lung cancer risk factors

Risk factors for lung cancer have been revealed over the years as a result of observations. In addition to those who have more than one of these risk factors in people with lung cancer, there may also be patients whose cause of cancer cannot be determined.

As everyone knows, tobacco comes first. However, the fact that lung cancer does not develop in every tobacco user or that lung cancer occurs in those who have never used tobacco suggests that other factors may also be effective in the development of cancer. Exposure to air pollution, radiation or other toxic substances; Health history, including genetic-familial predisposition, advanced age, pre-existing certain types of lung disease, are the main risk factors.

  • Tobacco smoke: If we pay attention, we say tobacco use, not cigarettes. Because smoking hookah, cigar and pipe tobacco has similar risks. Tobacco use is responsible for approximately 85% of lung cancer cases.

Before the 1900s, lung cancer was an extremely rare condition. After the first and second world wars, smoking has increased many times. The tobacco-cancer link is still not sufficiently believed, perhaps due to the pressure of tobacco cartels and advertising revenues of newspapers. Since the 1950s, as a result of the pressures in scientific circles, governments were persuaded, and eventually tobacco use was limited with advertising bans, age limits, compensations and restrictions.

The cigarette industry has implicitly imposed tobacco use on people, from auto races to cowboy movies, cartoons such as Red Kit and Popeye.

Smokers are 10 to 30 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers. Smoking of any kind, including pipes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, can also cause cancers of the mouth, larynx, and esophagus.

The risk of lung cancer increases as the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years smoked increase. A person’s lifetime exposure is measured in “pack-years,” or the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day multiplied by the number of years smoked. For example, a person who has smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years is said to have 20 pack-years of cigarette exposure.

Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of lung cancer over the years, regardless of how many years a person has smoked. Smoking is a psychological and physical habit and it is very difficult to quit. The chances of success can be increased with professional counseling, nicotine replacement products and drugs.

  • passive smoking : Exposure to the smoke of tobacco smoked by someone else is called passive smoking. It can be seen in both adults and children. Lung cancer in passive smokers is two and a half times more common than those who have never smoked or been exposed to it. It is also a risk factor for other lung problems such as chronic bronchitis, sinusitis and ear infections in both adults and children.
  • Radon gas: Radon, which is more concentrated in homes and workplaces, especially in lower floors and basements, is considered an important risk factor for lung cancer. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas in soil. In some areas, radon seeps into homes or buildings from the soil. You cannot see or smell radon. Therefore, special devices are used to measure the presence of radon. Effective ventilation (dragging) can be beneficial to some extent.
  • Radiation: Radiation from any source can lead to DNA breakage in cells and thus, over time, to the development of cancer in the person. Radiation sources can be found in the home, the environment, occupational or military uses, and healthcare (X-rays and radiation therapy to treat disease).
  • Occupational and environmental factors: Substances found in the workplace or in the environment can increase a person’s risk of developing lung cancer. Frequent indoor use of “biomass” fuels such as wood or coal for cooking is a risk factor for lung cancer, especially for women. Industrial factors include working with asbestos, cadmium, arsenic, radiation and some chemicals. Dusts and fumes from metals such as nickel, chromium, and others can also increase the risk of lung cancer.
  • Age: The risk of developing lung cancer increases with age. Lung cancer is not common in people under the age of 40. After the age of 40, the risk of developing lung cancer gradually increases each year.
  • Family and genetic risk: Compared to some other cancers (colon, breast, ovary, etc.), familial predisposition is not seen much in lung cancer. It seems more logical that the predisposition seen in some families may be related to environmental factors and habits.
  • Past diseases, infections: Lung cancer can develop in healed tuberculous scars. Additionally, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis have a slightly increased risk of developing lung cancer.
  • Lung disease and other cancers: People who have had another type of cancer have a slightly increased risk of developing lung cancer. This is especially seen in people who have had cancer related to tobacco use, such as laryngeal cancer, bladder cancer, or have undergone radiation therapy to the breast area.

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