Health Risk Assessment: Evaluating Your Risk For Lung Cancer

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How do I assess my risk for lung cancer?

Health Risk Assessment: Evaluating Your Risk For Lung Cancer

A common cancer among both men and women, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer. It kills about 160,000 people in the United States every year. While smoking is the largest cause of lung cancer, other risk factors contribute as well. Your health risk assessment for lung cancer should take into account all factors listed below.

Age - As with many cancers, the risk of lung cancer increases as you age. It's most common in people over 40 and over 75.

Smoking - If you smoke, even just a few cigarettes or a cigar a day, your risk for lung cancer is much higher. 90% of lung cancer cases occur in smokers.

Secondhand smoke – Even though you're not smoking the cigarette directly, the toxins are still entering your lungs, increasing your risk.

Air pollution – City dwellers are at a higher lung cancer risk, probably because they are exposed to more concentrated pollutants (car and bus exhaust, factories etc.)

Workplace chemicals – Exposure to asbestos, radon and chromium, among other chemicals, greatly increases your lung cancer risk.

Family history – If someone in your immediate family (mother, father, siblings) has lung cancer, your risk is higher. The genetic mutations that cause lung cancer can be hereditary.

   

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