Lung cancer is an abnormal growth of cancer cells in the lungs. The main symptoms include cough, bloody sputum, hemoptysis, shortness of breath, chest pain, and hoarseness in the throat. These symptoms occur after a certain degree of progression, and since there are no symptoms at first, treatment is often difficult to treat at the time of onset of major symptoms. Lung cancer is known to have a higher mortality rate compared to other cancers because the cure rate is low due to high recurrence or metastasis. Due to these characteristics, it is reported that lung cancer deaths account for about 22.8% of all cancer deaths. Now, let’s learn about the main causes of lung cancer and various information that will help you prevent it.
Causes of lung cancer
Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer. It has been shown that the higher the quantity of cigarettes smoked, the earlier the period, and the longer the period of smoking, the higher the risk of lung cancer. According to statistics, it is reported that about 70% of lung cancer is caused by smoking, and it is known that smokers have a 15 to 80-fold increased risk of lung cancer compared to non-smokers. In addition to direct smoking, as nonsmokers live with smokers, the longer they inhale secondhand smoke, the higher the risk of lung cancer, just like direct smoking. Long-term secondhand smoke has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer by about 1.5 times.
Exposure to hazardous substances such as asbestos, chromium, arsenic, vinyl chloride, and nickel may also increase the risk of lung cancer, and radioactive isotopes such as uranium and radon may also act as carcinogens. In particular, it has been reported that the risk of lung cancer increases when smoking habit is added to exposure to these dangerous substances. In addition, various chemicals such as benzopyrine and non-oxidizing substances floating in the air also have an effect on the incidence of lung cancer.
Lung-related diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, and pulmonary tuberculosis are also risk factors for lung cancer. People with lung disease are known to have an increased risk of developing lung cancer, even if they do not smoke. And since it is reported that the risk of developing lung cancer is two to three times higher if there is a lung cancer patient in the family, genetic factors are also known to have a significant influence on the occurrence and prognosis of lung cancer. In addition, long-term exposure to toxic substances and gases from the cooking process can also act as a cause of lung cancer. How to prevent lung cancer
1. No smoking
Smoking is the main risk factor for lung cancer, so quitting smoking is the surest way to prevent lung cancer. It is important to make an effort to quit smoking because the risk of developing lung cancer is known to be proportional to the amount and duration of smoking. In addition, since the risk of lung cancer may increase when exposed to hazardous substances such as asbestos, arsenic, chromium, and nickel for various reasons or occupational reasons, it is also important to make efforts to improve the environment to minimize exposure.
2. Regular check-up
It is important to have regular checkups every year to prevent lung cancer. In particular, if you are over 55 years of age and have smoked cigarettes for 30 years, it is important to actively perform low-dose chest CT every year to detect lung cancer early. In addition, as lung-related diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are highly associated with lung cancer, it is important to check the exact condition through continuous regular check-ups. Other important management habits for lung cancer prevention include eating a balanced intake of fresh vegetables and fruits that help boost the body’s immunity and help the body discharge harmful substances, and exercise regularly.