Dr. Sajjan Rajpurohit
Principal Consultant- Medical Oncology & Centre Head
Max Multi-speciality Center, Noida
Max Super-Speciality Hospital, Vaishali
CHANCES OF LUNG CANCER IN NON SMOKERS
Lung Cancer is becoming increasingly common worldwide. The increase in its incidence is no longer confined to smokers only. However, today we have made remarkable progress in treatment and have a greater understanding of managing lung cancer patients more effectively.
With the horrifying drop in air quality in Delhi and NCR, it has once again turned into a #GasChamber. Due to the rapid increase in #AirPollution levels, many of us are facing breathing difficulties and other health-related troubles. Here’s sharing my latest blog that talks about how air pollution is changing the scenario of #LungCancer in India and the ways to protect ourselves from pollution.
From the last 10 years new research, diagnosis and treatment have given breakthroughs to patients and their families of LUNG CANCER. Still, Lung cancer continues to be the most common cancer worldwide, claiming more and more lives every year.
Smoking is the strongest risk factor for lung cancer, but smokers exposed to other known risk factors such as radon and asbestos are at an even increased risk of cancer deaths worldwide.
Cigarette smoking is undoubtedly the major cause of lung cancer, not all cases of lung cancer occur in smokers or former smokers. It is rare for someone who has never smoked to be diagnosed with small cell lung cancer (SCLC), but yes it can happen. Lung cancer for non-smokers can be caused due to exposure to radon, secondhand smoke, air pollution, etc.
The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:
1- Persistent cough which does not go away or gets worse. 2- Coughing up blood (spit or phlegm)
3- Chest pain with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing.
Smoking – Smoking tobacco is so far the leading cause of lung cancer. About 75% of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking and many others are caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. Sharing living or working space with tobacco smokers establishes a risk factor for the development of lung cancer in non-smokers. Non-smokers who live with smokers have a 25% higher risk of developing lung cancer.
CAUSES IN NON-SMOKERS
Lung cancer in non-smokers can be caused by exposure to air pollution, secondhand smoke, radon, or other factors. Workplace exposures to diesel exhaust, asbestos, or certain other chemicals can cause lung cancer in some people who don’t smoke. A small portion of people having lung cancers is diagnosed with no known risk factors for the disease.
Often Lung cancers in non-smokers are different from those in smokers. Lung cancers in non-smokers tend to occur in younger people and often have certain gene changes that are different from those in tumors related to smokers. These gene changes can be used to guide treatment in some cases.
The principal risk factor for developing lung cancer is cigarette smoking. Passive exposure to tobacco smoke or passive smoking can also cause lung cancer in non-smokers.
When uranium element decays it forms a naturally-occurring gas called Radon gas which is another known cause of lung cancer. Those who smoke and are exposed to radon have a higher risk of developing lung cancer than non-smokers who are exposed to radon gas.