Lung cancer is a common cancer, and even it often leads to death (it ranks the first common cause of death due to cancer). It is usually linked to cigarette smoking. So far, it affects more smokers than non-smokers. Secondhand smoke can also have an effect in increasing the risk. How about a family history of the disease? If your dad had lung cancer, will you get it, too?
Again, tobacco smoking is the most responsible factor for most cases of lung cancer. According to IARC (the International Agency for Research on Cancer), most deaths due to lung cancer are also associated with tobacco smoking.
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If you are a smoker, quitting can be one step forward to protect yourself from lung cancer. Smoking is also linked to the increased risk of other cancers. It can be bad for your overall health since it hosts lots of toxic chemicals.
But though smoking is the major risk factor of the disease, it is not the only one. There are also other factors that can affect your risk.
Since your lungs are crucial part of your respiratory system, other bad things in the air can go into your lung when you take a breath. Over time, these may turn some healthy cells of the lungs to become cancerous cells.
For instances – arsenic, silica, asbestos, radon gas, some mineral oils, or air pollution may also affect the risk.
Other risk factors:
- Having a personal history of previous lung diseases (see more these lung diseases in here).
- Previous cancer (especially one that is also linked to smoking) or the effect of taking cancer treatments for another cancer.
- Other medicals conditions, particularly those that weaken the body immune system. If the defense system of your body is weak, the cancer cells are easier to develop and grow.
- And so on (see more these risk factors in this section)!
If your dad, mom, or a first degree relative has had lung cancer, you are at higher risk than general population to develop the same condition. However this doesn’t mean that you definitely will develop lung cancer!
Although your risk is higher than others if you have a family history of this cancer, but there are still plenty of options to reduce the risk and prevent the disease!
Even many risk factors of the disease are lifestyle factors. In other words, actually it is so preventable.
However in fact, lung cancer is a hereditary condition. A challenging question, can it become a significant factor to affect your risk? See more in this section!