The most common habit of what causes lung cancer is cigarette smoking. 90% of the lung cancers are caused by use of tobacco or smoking tobacco. The more the cigarettes you smoke, the more you develop the chances of lung cancer. It is also directly related to the time for which the smoking is done. It is related to the number of packets of cigarettes smoked. For example, if the person consumes 2 packs i.e. 40 cigarettes per day increase the chances of development of cancer after 20 years. Pipe and cigar smoking also increases the chances of lung cancer but the chances are lesser than by cigarette smoking. The person who used to smoke but now has stopped has decreased chances of developing lung cancer but it never comes to a level of non-smoker. The reason cigarette smoking causes cancer is presence of around 4,000 chemicals which are responsible for the development of cancer, also called carcinogenic substances.
Passive smoking which means inhalation by the non-smokers staying in company with the smokers is also prone to the development of the cancer. People staying in company of cigarette smoker have 25% more chances of developing the cancer than the non-smokers not staying in company of cigarette smokers. There are also other factors responsible for the development of cancer.
It is also caused by other factors like the asbestos particles. Asbestos fibers are the silicate fibers which can remain in the lungs for a longer period if inhaled. The people most prone to such exposure are the people working at the factories of acoustic and thermal insulation where the presence of asbestos is present more. Due to this the use of asbestos has been banned in countries like USA. The exposure to asbestos and cigarette smoking together increase the chances of developing of cancer more. The non-smoking people who are exposed to the asbestos have five times more chances of causing lung cancer than the non-smokers who are not exposed to asbestos. While people smoking and having exposure to asbestos have 50 times more chances than the non-smokers.
Other than smoking and asbestos exposure, a gas called Radon gas also causes the cancer. The gas is a natural decay product of the radioactive element uranium. It causes lung cancer because it emits ionizing radiations. Radon gas is responsible for 12% deaths among all deaths due to this cancer. Radon gas can enter through the soil and enter the houses through pipes and chimneys and hence many countries have developed programs for its prevention. Radon gas is invisible and odorless but can be detected by simple kits.
There are also some familial or genetic associations with the causation of lung cancer. Apart from smoking individual genetic makeup can also lead to development of lung cancer. The specific genes located on the q arm of chromosome 15, the gene that interacts with the nicotine and other tobacco related substances. The presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is also a predisposing factor for causing lung cancer. Air pollution from vehicles, industries and power plants is also responsible for the cancer.
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