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Lung Cancer: Causes and Risk Factors

Causes of Lung Cancer

There are no studies stating the specific causes that cause lung cancer, but a few of these pose a higher risk

  • Smoking
    Smoking and tobacco are one of the main causes for lung cancer. It is not that those who do not smoke cannot have lung cancer. Cigarette ingredients contain cancer-causing substances. In the starting, when you smoke body is able to repair the damage, but repeated use of cigarettes damages the healthy cells that line your lung cells. Over time, when healthy cells fail to grow new cells, cancer cells develop and form up around the lungs
  • Passive smoking
    Passive smoking also called second-hand smoking in which persons absorbs the smoke from sharing or working area of smokers.
  • Asbestos fibers
    Asbestos fibers are naturally occurring silicate minerals. A workplace full of asbestosis fibers is banned in many countries. Asbestos fibers are a major cause of lung cancers and mesothelioma . Cigarette smokers are more prone to develop asbestos-related to lung cancer.
  • Radon gas
    Radon gases are radioactive colorless gases, odorless gases that are formed while the natural breaking down of uranium soil, rocks, and waters. These random gases comprise around 12% of lung cancer. Radon gases travel through ground and can come through pipelines of our homes.
  • Air Pollution
    Air pollution is becoming very hazardous to us. Air pollution is becoming a reason for many diseases in our body. Dangerous gases from factories, vehicles, industries, and power plants are making the air worse to breathe. Air pollution must be controlled. The cancer chemical and substances which creates cancer risks are like arsenic, asbestos, beryllium, cadmium, coal and coke fumes, nickel, and silica.
  • Prior history of lung cancer
    Cancerous cells are always present in the body, and the formation of more cancer cells can lead to severe cancer disease. People who are associated with the history of small cell lung cancers are more prone to generate lung cancer cells again.

Risk factors of Lung Cancers

Of course, cigarette smoking is one of the most significant risk factors of lung cancer. Smoking cigarettes can cause the development of lung cancer cells. Otherwise, there are many other risk factors that are secondary but are hazardous, like radon gases.

  • Heavy smoking
    Smoking is injurious to help that we all know. The reason smoking is detrimental to health because it has been a reason for lung cancers for several patients.
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke
    Standing with the person who smokes and inhaling the second-hand smoke produced by some other source is the reason people tend to increase the formation of cancer cells massively.
  • Exposure to radon gas
    Natural break down of uranium soil, rock, and water can produce radon gases, which eventually become part of the vapor which we inhale and can cause lung cancer.
  • Genetic reasons
    When Family history associated with lung cancer, it becomes more prone to have lung cancer even if you do not smoke or do not come in radon gas.
  • Occupational exposure
    Asbestos is now banned in many countries because one’s exposure to asbestos causes mesothelioma. Construction companies, shipbuilding companies, or some manufacturing companies used asbestos, which is very hazardous for the people. Apart from asbestos, there are many other toxins that are a risk factor of lung cancer like arsenic, nickel, chromium, and many more. And who smokes and gets the occupational exposure too, the chances of lung cancer increases.
  • Environmental exposure
    Radon gases are the biggest enemy that comes under the environmental exposure, which gives rise to the risk factor of lung cancer. There are ecological protection agencies that list the places where radon gas information is found. Like other risk is increased with the association of cigarette smoking, environmental exposure risks also increase to those who smoke.

Risk Factors that include dietary components


  • Arsenic in drinking water
    The arsenic substance produces lung cancer cells. Research says there are countries in Southern Asia and South America where arsenic substances are found in water, which is a hazardous risk factor for lung cancer.
  • Vitamins supplement
    The intake of vitamin supplements such as beta carotene supplements can increase the risk factor of lung cancer in one’s body. Earlier, there was a myth that beta carotene reduces the chances of lung cancer for those whose smoke, but this isn’t true. The one who smokes and takes beta carotene, the risk factor increases.

Risk Factors that you cannot change


  • History related to radiation therapy of the lungs
    History pertaining to radiation therapy of any person is at a higher risk for lung cancer. If a person’s account is related to any radiation therapies or like treated for Hodgkin disease or women who underwent treatment for breast cancer are more prone to involve lung cancer cells.
  • Air pollution
    Those cities where pollution levels are very high, they show large number of lung cancer victims.
  • Family history
    Lung cancer can also occur due to genetic reasons. If we have members in our same blood family who had suffered from lung cancer or are suffering from lung cancer, then the risk factor of lung cancer rises for us. Family history with cancer increases the risk of lung cancer, and the risk increases more if we are related to other risk factors like cigarette smoking.
  • Smoking marijuana
    Smoking marijuana is becoming very common among college students. Cannabis contains tar and other ingredients like tobacco, which causes lung cancer. Marijuana cigarettes contain very high quantities of tar. Marijuana cigarettes are deeply inhaled which directly affect the lungs.In many countries smoking marijuana is illegal. Those who smoke marijuana have a habit of smoking two or three marijuana a day, which is quite harmful.
  • E-cigarettes
    E-cigarettes mean electronic cigarettes which have an electronic device connected to deliver nicotine. These cigarettes don’t contain any tobacco substance, but the Food and Drug Administration considers that as a harmful substance and tobacco-containing substance
  • Talcum or talc powder
    Talcum is a natural mineral and contains the asbestos mineral. People working at talcum manufacturing units have a high risk of lung cancer.

Prevention of Lung Cancer

We cannot prevent lung cancer wholly. But there are certain things which you can avoid to protect yourself from lung cancer.

  • Smoking cigarettes and stay away from Tobacco
    Smoking cigarettes is the biggest enemy that is one of the main reasons for lung cancer in most cases. Other tobacco-containing should also be avoided.
  • Avoid exposure to radon environment
    Radon is one of the reasons that can cause lung cancer. Always try to reduce your exposure in such a situation as the prevention from lung cancer.
  • Use face mask in polluted areas
    Areas like NCR (National capital region) where the pollution level is at its utmost levels and other places like that, try to use a pollution protection mask.
  • Have a healthy diet
    A healthy diet that contains lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is suitable for everything and also prevents lung cancer; instead, it will keep your lungs healthy.

However, the risk factors that we have already discussed earlier can be reduced as the prevention of lung cancer.

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