There are other facts also increase the risks of lung cancer, but the possibilities are far less than smoking. They are
- Exposure to radon gas
- Exposure to certain chemicals
- Air pollution
- Previous lung disease
- A family history of lung cancer
- Past cancer treatment
- Previous smoking related cancer
- Lowered immunity
Exposure to radon gas
Radon gas is the second major cause of lung cancer after smoking. It is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which comes from tiny amounts of uranium present in all rocks and soils, and it can build up in homes and other buildings.
Radon gas also increases the risk from smoking, smokers live in a high indoor levels of radon have a particularly high risk of getting lung cancer.
Exposure to certain chemicals
Numbers of substances including asbestos, silica and diesel exhaust may cause lung cancer.
Exposure to asbestos in the construction industry and shipbuilding is much lower than 50 years ago, but asbestos is still a cause of lung cancer and it increases the risks amongst smokers.
Silica is used in glass making, it causes a condition named as silicosis, which increases the risk of lung cancer.
Few people and professional drivers are at the high risk of diesel fumes caused lung cancer.
Lung cancer can also be caused by air pollution. Based on a study in Europe, researchers believe that 5-7% of lung cancers in non-smokers are due to outdoor air pollution. Another study from many years ago also proved that the risk of people exposed to large amounts of diesel exhaust fumes at work is increased up to 47%
Previous lung disease
Scarring in the lungs caused by a previous disease may be a risk factor for lung adenocarcinoma. Tuberculosis (TB) can make scar tissue form in the lungs. A study from China showed that the risk of lung cancer for people who had TB are doubled, and it continues for over 20 years.
Some studies also showed that antibodies to chlamydia pneumonia (a kind of bacteria which causes chest infections) also increase the risk of lung cancer, especially for smokers.
Family history of lung cancer
Researchers found that it is likely that at least one faulty lung cancer gene passes down in families (inherited). Your risk of lung cancer is increased by 51% if one of your first degree relative has lung cancer. This risk is even greater if a brother or sister has lung cancer. This is regardless of whether or not you smoke.
Past cancer treatment
Particular cancer treatment might also increase the risk of lung cancer. Studies on lung cancer after treatment of breast cancer shows that the radiotherapy may increase of risk of lung cancer development. But the latest methods of giving radiotherapy for breast cancer treatment do not seem to have such impact.
A research in Sweden found that lung cancer may occur 20 years after breast cancer treatment, those women were all smokers at the time of breast cancer treatment have the most possibilities to develop lung cancer, and a recent research shows that oestrogen recepton negative breast cancer may be a high risk of lung cancer development.
Risk of lung cancer may increase if people have had treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, some types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, testicular cancer and a type of cancer of the womb.
But please note that the worst challenge is that there is no treatment for these cancers. Some other studies showed that lung cancer risk has been increased even more in smokers, if you had radiotherapy to your chest, stop smoking is very important.
Previous smoking related cancers
Risk of lung cancer may be increased if you had a head and neck cancer, cervical cancer or oesophageal cancer. This could be a result from the possibly higher risk of these cancers, or from the radiotherapy treatment.
Our immunity can be lowered due to HIV, AIDS or medications after organ transplants. People with HIV and AIDS have 3 times move possibilities to get lung cancer compared with the people who do not have. The medication to suppress people’s immunity after organ transplant also double the risk of lung cancer.
Studies also found increased risk of lung cancer in people who have auto immune conditions, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may double the risk of lung cancer.