Are You At Risk Of Developing Lung Cancer?
It is estimated that a non-smoker’s lifetime risk of lung cancer is 1 in 100 while a smoker’s risk is 1 in 12. Among which group of people do you belong? Are you worried that your risk of developing lung cancer is high?
Lung cancer like any other forms of cancer is a much-dreaded disease. Because it doesn’t have visible symptoms during the early stage, it is often diagnosed during the later stage of the disease when the cancer has already spread to other organs and when treatment becomes difficult and survival rate is low.
People who are likely to develop lung cancer are those who have one or more of the following risk factors.
1. Women are more prone to develop lung cancer than men are. One study shows that a gene associate with abnormal cell growth was found to be more active in women than in men whether these women smoked or not. Some research also shows that smoking women are more susceptible to the cancer-causing chemicals found in cigarettes than their male counterparts.
2. Smoking is one of the greatest risk factor of lung cancer. It is estimated that 9 out of 10 lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. A person’s risk of developing lung cancer increases with the number of years he or she has smoked. The longer the person has been smoking, the higher is his or her risk of developing lung cancer.
3. Sad news for people who have not even puffed a single cigarette but are continually exposed to cigarette smoke; your risk of developing lung cancer rises as much as 30 percent especially if you are exposed daily to second-hand smoking.
4. Exposure to radon, an odorless gas found in water and the ground, increases a person’s risk of developing lung cancer. Radon is considered to be the second most common cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking.
5. Our workplace can sometimes increase our risk of developing lung cancer. People who are exposed to carcinogens like arsenic, asbestos, chloromethyl ether and chromium compounds in their workplaces have higher risk of developing lung cancer. It is estimated that about 9,000 men and 900 women develop lung cancer annually due to workplace exposure of known carcinogenic compounds. The risk becomes even greater for people who smoke.
6. Women who undergo estrogen replacement may be at higher risk of developing lung cancer. According to researchers from the University of Pittsburg, the growth of non-small-cell lung cancer may be fueled by estrogen.
It is important that lung cancer be detected early. The symptomless early stages often mislead lung cancer patients into believing that there is nothing wrong with his or her health. Often it is already late and cancer has already spread to other areas before diagnosis is being made. Those who are well informed about the possibility and the level of their risk of developing lung cancer will be able to seek for medical check-up and professional opinion early before the disease can even spread.