What causes lung cancer?

In most cases, lung cancer is linked to tobacco exposure. 86% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking, whereas passive smoking (exposure to second hand smoke) causes a further 3% of cases.

Lung CancerBelow are some facts about relations between smoking and lung cancer.

  • People are more likely to get lung cancer if they smoke more, but how long people have been smoking is the most important
  • Risks increase greatly if started smoking at a young age
  • Filtered and low tar cigarettes may not increase the risk quite so much, but most smokers cancel this out by taking more, deeper puffs or smoking more cigarettes
  • Risk of lung cancer goes down as soon as quit smoking
  • Passive smoking increases the risk of lung cancer in non-smokers, but it is still much less than if you smoke yourself

It is almost impossible to stay away from occasional passive smoking. Risk for people exposed to tobacco at work or at home increased 25% compared to people who are not exposed to it. Exposure in heavy environmental tobacco smoke is proved to double the risk of lung cancer.

Cigarette smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, followed by pipe and cigar smokers. Pipe and cigar smokers are also likely on the risk of mouth or lip cancer.

Lung cancer was more common in men than women in the past, but it has become common in women since more of them smoke nowadays.

It is always worth to give up smoking, regardless how long you have been smoking. Talk to your doctor, they will provide help and support you need.