Causes and risk factors for Lung Cancer

Reading time: 1 min

The main cause of lung cancer is smoking tobacco. Over 4,000 toxic substances have been identified in cigarette smoke, 60 of which are probably carcinogenic. Two of the most significant chemicals are tar and benzene (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).

Risk factors

tobacco

Smoking
80–90% of lung cancers occur in people who smoke; the risk of a smoker developing lung cancer is 10 to 20 times greater than a non-smoker.

Second-hand smoke

Passive smokers. Passive smokers also face an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Hence the importance of prohibiting smoking in public places.

Occupational risk factors

Occupational risk factors. Like mining, insulation materials and the textile industry,...include exposure to asbestos, nickel and radon.

No smokers

Non-smokers. Non-smokers can also be diagnosed with lung cancer, representing up to 10% of all cases. 

 

DNA

Not a hereditary. It is not a hereditary tumour but the risk may increase if your family history includes several incidences of lung cancer.

 

Obstructive lung disease

Other at-risk groups. Include individuals in a state of immunosuppression or who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis.

 

Substantiated information by:
Ramon Mª MarradesPneumologist — Pneumology DepartmentLaureano MolinsThoracic Surgeon — Thoracic Surgery DepartmentNoemí ReguartOncologist — Oncology DepartmentMari Carmen RodríguezNurse — Oncology DepartmentDavid SánchezThoracic Surgeon — Thoracic Surgery DepartmentNúria ViñolasOncologist — Oncology Department

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 20 February 2018

Subscribe

Receive the latest updates related to this content.

Thank you for subscribing!

We have received your information. Check your inbox, in a few moments you will receive a confirmation email.

An error occurred and we were unable to send your data, please try again later.