Presse Santé

These 4 factors that cause lung cancer apart from cigarettes

Lung cancer is an enemy to be reckoned with and is currently one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in both men and women.

What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs.

There are two main types of lung cancer. One is small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and the other is non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). There is also a third type, which includes both CPPC and NSCLC. It is a small cell and large cell carcinoma. The most common type of cancer is NSCLC, which accounts for about 87 percent of all cancers.

what are the symptoms of lung cancer?

These are the most common symptoms of lung cancer:

  • – Persistent cough that does not go away
  • – Difficulty breathing
  • – The appearance of wheezing
  • – Recurrent pneumonia or bronchitis
  • – Coughing up blood
  • – Hoarseness
  • – Weight loss or loss of appetite

Unfortunately, none of these symptoms will give you enough warning to prevent the disease before it strikes. Symptoms usually do not appear and a diagnosis is not made until the disease is in an advanced stage. This means that you need to be proactive about your health so that you can prevent these symptoms from having a chance to show up. Smoking is by far the most important cause of lung cancer. Smokers have increased risks of lung, breast, throat, stomach, and other cancers, as well as heart attacks, strokes, emphysema, asthma, and a host of other diseases. A person who smokes more than a pack of cigarettes a day has a 20 to 25 times higher risk of developing lung cancer than a person who has never smoked. And while not all lung cancers are caused by cigarettes, 85 to 90 percent of them are. It is an easily preventable disease.

Some think that only smokers get lung cancer. While it’s true that cigarette smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer, you can get lung cancer in other ways. Even if you don’t smoke, you may be at significant risk of developing lung cancer if one or more of the following risk factors are present:

  • – Exposure to radon
  • – Exposure to asbestos
  • – Atmospheric pollution
  • – Exposure to other chemicals

1) Radon and lung cancer

Radon is a radioactive gas that is naturally released from the earth’s crust. It accumulates in poorly ventilated spaces like basements and garages. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Your chances of getting lung cancer from radon depend mainly on:

  • – Radon levels in your home
  • – The time you spend at home
  • – If you are a smoker or have ever smoked

Not surprisingly, smokers are much worse off in terms of their increased risk of cancer from radon because their lungs are already damaged. Children and developing fetuses are also particularly vulnerable to radiation, as it can also cause other forms of cancer.

2) Asbestos and lung cancer

Asbestos exposure is also a risk factor for lung cancer. Asbestos is a mineral found in the environment in the form of long, thin fibers. Despite asbestos being banned in the 1980s due to its health risks, it was still used in a large number of industrial and insulation materials as a flame retardant, and much of this work is still being done. Many people have unknowingly come into contact with asbestos, sometimes while working in their attic to install insulation, or perhaps moving insulation during repairs or renovations. Others are exposed to asbestos as factory workers, or possibly as members of a construction crew tearing down an old building or ship.

The disease that develops from chronic exposure to asbestos, and sometimes from exposure to other environmental toxins, is known as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is cancer of the lung wall. Mesothelioma develops when malignant cells grow in your mesothelium, the protective lining that covers most of your body’s internal organs. Its most common location is the pleura, which is the outer lining of the lungs and the inner lining of the rib cage. A protective mask is essential if you work in a risk area, and you should also be very careful if you regularly work in clothing that has been worn in a risk area.

3) Air pollution and lung cancer

Although air pollution is a less common cause of lung cancer than the previous two causes discussed, there are cases where air pollution can lead to serious lung disorders such as lung cancer. The researchers reviewed the medical records of 50,000 adults over nearly two decades and analyzed data on annual air pollution levels in the cities in which the participants lived. They took into account other risk factors for heart and lung disease, such as smoking, diet, weight and occupation. Lung cancer death rates were compared to average pollution levels, measured in micrograms per cubic meter of air. A clearly unfavorable factor emerged for people living in the air pollution of large cities or industries.

4) Environmental Chemical Exposure and Lung Cancer

Every day more and more chemicals are added to your body’s total load. Is it any wonder there has been such an increase in lung problems and diseases? A study highlighting the effects of environmental pollution found that dry cleaners had a 25 percent higher risk of death from cancer than the general population. These employees had an increased risk of cancer of the tongue, lung, and cervix, as well as pneumonia when exposed to perchlorethylene alone. One other study to mention the exposition of the ouvriers d’usine au béryllium, a metal frequently used in the manufacture of sports articles, dental material and aircraft parts as responsible for the appearance of pulmonary maladies and du lung cancer. Up to 30 percent of workers who became sensitized to the metal died from chronic beryllium disease or its complications. Additionally, a recent study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine confirmed the link between beryllium exposure and lung cancer.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information provided can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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