Lung cancer is the most common cancer in men with the highest lung cancer rates in Central and Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia. Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in women with the highest rates in North America, Northern Europe and Eastern Asia. There were 2 million new lung cancer diagnoses in 2018.1 The following are a few risk factors of lung cancer: 2
- Smoking: The risk of lung cancer is related to the total lifetime exposure to smoking (including secondhand smoke).
- Family History
- Age: Most people are over the age of 65 years old when they are diagnosed.
- Environment: High levels of exposure to particular natural gases and chemicals like radon, uranium, arsenic, Bis(chloromethyl) ether, asbestos, chromium, nickel, soot, tar and other substances can increase risk. Exposure to asbestos, crystalline silica, radon, and heavy metals are also associated with an increased risk, as well as indoor air pollution from wood /coal burning for cooking and heating.
- Chemical Exposure: Occupational exposure to asbestos, crystalline silica, radon, mixtures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals are associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, as well as indoor air pollution from wood and coal burning for cooking and heating.