Mayo Clinic: My brother-in-law has never smoked, but was
diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer at the age of 45. He was
told there is no way to determine what caused it, even though
he had a biopsy. What are some of the things that cause lung
true that pinpointing a specific cause of lung cancer based on
biopsy results ó or any other lab test, for that matter ó
isnít possible. A likely cause often can be assumed, though,
based on a personís lifestyle, medical history and
environmental factors. Smoking is, by far, the most common
cause of lung cancer, but it certainly isnít the only one.
has been for many years, lung cancer remains the leading cause
of cancer deaths in the U.S. for both men and women. Smoking
causes the majority of lung cancers. People who smoke are nine
times more likely to get the disease than those who do not.
Thatís because when cigarette smoke enters the lungs, it
almost immediately begins to damage cells that line the lungs.
At first, the body can repair that damage. But, as exposure to
the toxins in cigarette smoke continues, the damage increases.
Over time, that can trigger abnormal changes in the lung cells
that can lead to lung cancer.
lung cancer is not just a smokerís problem. People who live
or work around smokers, or who otherwise have sustained
exposure to cigarette smoke over time, are also at an
increased risk for lung cancer. Secondhand smoke, as this
exposure is called, includes breathing smoke that a smoker
exhales, as well as inhaling smoke that comes from a burning
tobacco product. The smoke contains a wide range of chemicals
known to cause cancer, including ammonia, butane, carbon
monoxide, cyanide and lead, among others.
the research is not definitive at this time, other forms of
smoking also appear to raise the risk of lung cancer,
including smoking marijuana and using e-cigarettes. Basically,
anytime you inhale toxins, you raise your risk for lung
factor that has been associated with lung cancer is long-term
exposure to radon gas. Radon is created by the natural
breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Over time, it
becomes part of the air you breathe. In areas prone to radon,
the gas can build up within homes and other buildings. If you
live in an area where radon is known to be a problem, itís a
good idea to have your home tested for it. If the level of
radon is high, there are ways to bring it down to a safer
or living around other substances known to cause cancer can
increase the risk of developing lung cancer, too. Examples of
these kinds of substances include asbestos, arsenic, chromium
in some cases, a family history of lung cancer may raise an
individualís risk for the disease. In particular, the risk
seems to go up most in people who have a parent, sibling or
child with lung cancer.