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Causes of Lung Cancer

According to the American Lung Association, amongst all causes of lung cancer, cigarette smoke remains the number one cause. Regular exposure to first and second hand cigarette smoke increases a person’s risk for developing lung cancer by as much as five times compared to a non-smoker with no exposure.

As recently as 20 years ago, society wasn’t aware that smoking was one of the causes of lung cancer. But today, we know that smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, and that an individual’s risk greatly increases by smoking. Even more recently, we have learned that second hand smoke is one of the other leading causes of lung cancer. Hence, smoking bans are being implemented in many facilities today.

Though the main causes of lung cancer remain linked to cigarette smoke, there are other environmental causes of lung cancer. These include exposure to asbestos, radon, uranium and arsenic. Used heavily in the building and construction industries in the fifties, asbestos remained a dormant and silent cause of lung cancer until recent years. Though the material is no longer used, asbestos is found in older homes and buildings and because it is a known carcinogenic, special abatement is arranged to prevent excessive exposure when removing it.

Much research has gone into finding the causes of lung cancer and searching for a cure. Unfortunately, while lung cancer kills more people than any other type of cancer, there is less money spent on this specific type of cancer research than other types. Experts believe this may be due to the low survival rate, leaving less lobbying for research from lung cancer survivors than other cancer survivors.

Still, advancements in treatments continue to be made for lung cancer and other cancers with the hope that while the causes of lung cancer may never be eliminated, a cure can be found.

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