Causes of Lung Cancer
While several causes of lung cancer have been discovered, the most common are associated with tobacco use. Other causes include radon, lung diseases (such as tuberculosis), and asbestos. The most effective way to eliminate your risk of lung cancer is to quit smoking and to limit exposure to harmful environmental factors.
Researchers have discovered several causes of lung cancer, but the most common are related to the use of tobacco. This includes tobacco from:
- Cigars and pipes
- Environmental tobacco smoke (also known as secondhand smoke).
Other possible causes of the disease include:
Smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer. Harmful substances in tobacco, called carcinogens, damage the cells in the lungs. Over time, the damaged cells may become cancerous. The likelihood that a smoker will develop lung cancer is affected by the age at which smoking began, how long the person has smoked, the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and how deeply the smoker inhales.
Stopping smoking greatly reduces a person's risk for developing lung cancer.
Cigars and Pipes
Cigar and pipe smokers have a higher risk of lung cancer than nonsmokers. The number of years a person smokes, the number of pipes or cigars smoked per day, and how deeply the person inhales all affect the risk of developing lung cancer.
Even cigar and pipe smokers who do not inhale are at increased risk for lung, mouth, and other types of cancer.