Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide. In Australia it is the leading cause of cancer-related death.
Lung cancer is often linked to smoking cigarettes. However, more and more non-smokers are being diagnosed with the disease. And female non-smokers are more susceptible than males.
There is no consensus as to why lung cancer is becoming more prevalent amongst non-smokers.
Studies have found the following could be contributing factors:
- Environmental tobacco smoke (second hand smoke)
- Cooking oil vapours and indoor coal burning
- Genetic factors
- Hormonal factors – oestrogen maybe implicated in lung cancer progression
- Viral factors – The human papilloma virus (HPV) is a proven cause of cervical cancer and may have a role in the development of lung cancer.
Lung cancer often shows no symptoms until it has spread.
So if you suffer from:
- A persistent cough
- Chest pain
- Repeated bouts of pneumonia/ bronchitis
- Coughing/ spitting up blood.
Talk to your GP today.
Lung cancer as a cause may be overlooked particularly in non-smokers.