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7 Risk Factors for Lung Cancer
Cancer enters most people’s lives at some point and is the second leading cause of death nationally. Lung cancer is the deadliest form of disease and many Americans are unaware that there are risk factors other than smoking cigarettes that can increase your risk of developing it. This article will cover seven of the biggest risk factors for lung cancer and what you can do to reduce your risk.
- Smoking – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80–90% of lung cancer deaths are linked to cigarette smoking. Even more, people who smoke are 15–30 times more likely to develop and die from lung cancer than those who do not smoke, and the longer and more frequently you smoke, the more the risk increases.
- Radon Exposure – Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in all people and the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Radon is an invisible, radioactive gas that enters buildings from uranium in the ground. You can help protect yourself from radon exposure by testing your home and installing a radon mitigation system if your test results are high.
- Secondhand Smoke – Secondhand smoke is the third most common cause of lung disease. According to the American Cancer Society, secondhand smoke exposes you to roughly 70 different cancer-causing chemicals and there is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure.
- Air Pollution – Air pollution causes harmful particles to enter people’s lungs when they breathe. The American Cancer Society claims that exposure to outdoor air pollution causes over half a million lung disease deaths each year globally.
- Asbestos – Asbestos is a naturally occurring, carcinogenic mineral. Before asbestos was discovered to be dangerous, it was used in construction products, car materials, and industrial settings. Breathing asbestos increases the chance of developing lung disease and mesothelioma.
- Family History of Lung Cancer – According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, people who have family members with lung disease are twice as likely to develop this disease. If you have a family history of lung disease, it’s important to get screened.
- Exposure to Workplace Substances – Some workplaces may expose you to toxic chemicals like arsenic, diesel fumes, and coal products. According to the CDC, the risk of developing lung cancer from these substances is even higher if you smoke.Lung disease may be deadly, but there are many steps you can take to reduce your risk. Whether you are a smoker or a nonsmoker, we encourage you to start by ordering a free radon test from Utah Radon Services to make sure you and your loved ones are safe from the effects of radon in your home.