Lung cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the lungs and can spread to other parts of the body. It is one of the most common types of cancer. This article will review a few of the most frequent risk factors for developing lung cancer.
6 Typical Causes of Lung Cancer
Cigarette smoking is directly responsible for over 80% of lung cancer incidences. Many compounds in tobacco smoke are known carcinogens and may cause irreparable damage to the lungs and increase the likelihood of getting lung cancer.
2. Secondhand Smoke
Passive smoking, or contact with secondhand smoke, is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, especially among never smokers.
3. Radon Exposure
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be found in soil and rock formations. Exposure to high levels of radon over an extended period of time increases the risk of developing lung cancer.
4. Air Pollution
Exposure to high levels of air pollution, particularly in urban areas, has been linked to an increased risk of developing lung cancer.
5. Genetic Factors
Some people may have a genetic predisposition to developing lung cancer, and this risk may be higher for those with a family history of the disease.
6. Occupational Exposure
Certain occupations, such as mining, construction, and manufacturing, may expose workers to harmful chemicals and substances that increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
For example, asbestos, a mineral that was once widely utilized in building materials, has since been banned in most countries due to the risk it poses to one’s health.
In some companies, asbestos that was used in production led to high exposure and related diseases among employees, including lung cancer.
Types of Lung Cancer
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for around 85% of all cases. It typically grows and spreads more slowly than SCLC. There are three main subtypes of NSCLC:
Adenocarcinoma: This subtype of NSCLC is the most common in non-smokers and is more likely to occur in women than in men. It usually starts in the outer parts of the lungs and can spread to other organs.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This subtype of NSCLC starts in the lining of the bronchial tubes in the center of the lungs. It is typically linked to smoking and can cause coughing and shortness of breath.
- Large Cell Carcinoma: This subtype of NSCLC can occur in any part of the lungs and tends to grow and spread more quickly than the other subtypes.
Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)
SCLC is less common than NSCLC, accounting for around 15% of all cases. It is typically more aggressive and grows more quickly than NSCLC. SCLC is strongly linked to smoking, and it is rare for non-smokers to develop this type of lung cancer.
Factors to Consider Before Treating Lung Cancer
Overall Health of the Patient
Consideration of the patient’s general health is crucial before beginning treatment for lung cancer. Patients with underlying medical conditions may not be able to tolerate aggressive treatment options, and treatment plans may need to be adjusted accordingly.
Age of the Patient
Age is also an important factor to consider before treating lung cancer. Older patients may not be able to tolerate aggressive treatments, and treatment plans may need to be adjusted to accommodate their age-related health concerns.
The goals of treatment may vary from patient to patient. Some patients may want to pursue aggressive treatment options to cure cancer, while others may prefer palliative care to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Potential Side Effects of Treatment
Some treatment options for lung cancer may have significant side effects, such as hair loss, nausea, fatigue, and weakness. Weighing the advantages of therapy with its probable adverse effects is essential.
Availability of Support
The availability of support, such as family, friends, and healthcare professionals, is crucial in helping patients manage the physical and emotional challenges of lung cancer treatment.
Cost of Treatment
The cost of treating lung cancer can be high, and it is important to consider the financial impact of treatment. Patients need to know what their insurance covers and what they might expect to pay out of pocket.
Lung cancer is a severe medical condition caused by various factors. Smoking, radon exposure, asbestos exposure, air pollution, genetic factors, occupational exposure, and secondhand smoke are all common causes of lung cancer. By understanding these risk factors, individuals can reduce their risk of developing lung cancer, such as quitting smoking, avoiding exposure to harmful substances, and reducing exposure to air pollution. As a corollary, frequent screening may greatly increase the likelihood of a positive outcome from treatment.