Health

Not smoking still increases the risk of lung cancer – VnExpress


People who have never smoked are still likely to get lung cancer due to many other factors such as smoke inhalation, exposure to toxic chemicals, etc.

Although smoking is a major risk factor for lung cancer, not all people with the condition have a history of smoking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10-20% of lung cancer cases annually occur in people who have never smoked or smoked less than 100 cigarettes in their life.

Although staying away from tobacco will help reduce your chances of getting lung cancer, some other risk factors can still cause changes or mutations in lung cells. These changes lead to abnormal cell growth and sometimes cancer.

Scientists have identified several factors that contribute to lung cancer in people who have never used tobacco.

Inhalation of secondhand smoke (passive smoking): Even if you don’t smoke, breathing in secondhand smoke increases your risk of lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 7,000 adults die from lung cancer each year from secondhand smoke.

Radon gas: Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks. Radon is normally found in the outdoor air, but it can also be found in concentrated amounts in some houses built on uranium mines. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is the leading contributor to lung cancer in non-smokers in this country.

Cancer-causing agents in the workplace: people who have long and repeated exposure to carcinogens at work such as arsenic, uranium, asbestos, diesel exhaust, heavy metals… have a higher risk of lung cancer than the average person. often.

Air pollution: In large cities, air pollution seems to slightly increase the risk of lung cancer.

Air pollution is a risk factor for lung cancer in non-smokers. Photo: Gia Chinh

Gene Mutation: Certain changes in lung cells can cause abnormal cell growth, which in turn leads to cancer.

Non-smokers are still more likely to get lung cancer due to other factors. Therefore, anyone should maintain a healthy lifestyle and adopt some methods to reduce the risk of experiencing this condition. Testing for radon in the home, avoiding tobacco smoke and other carcinogenic agents in the workplace will significantly reduce the risk factors for lung cancer in non-smokers.

Some evidence suggests that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help protect both smokers and non-smokers from lung cancer. If you have a family member with lung cancer, you should talk to your doctor for advice on how to stay healthy and limit your risk.

Phuong Quynh
(According to American Cancer Society, Yale Medicine)

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