Lung Cancer Causes

smoking-7Lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer diagnosed in the UK, after breast cancer, with over 42,000 people in the UK diagnosed in 2010 alone, that’s an average of 115 per day. It is also the second most common cause of cancer in men after testicular cancer, with 23, 200 cases diagnosed in 2010 in men alone. Overall, lung cancer claims approximately 35,000 lives per year, and though the male fatality rate has more than halved since the 1970s, it has increased by 60% in women over the same period. Our latest blog looks at some of the major causes of lung cancer today.

Smoking
Unsurprisingly the number one cause of lung cancer is smoking. Smoking can be directly linked to 89% of all lung cancer cases, of which 3% are attributable to second hand smoke inhalation. What people might not necessary realise is that whilst how much you smoke is a contributing factor, what’s much more important is how long you have smoked for. Starting smoking young greatly increases the risk of contracting lung disease in later life, and the overall risk compared to a non-smoker is 15%, regardless of your age. If you are a smoker and you are looking to stop, you can find the NHS Live Well site here for great information, help and resources that could help you, and you could begin to fight the damage your lungs have already taken.

smoking (2)Radon Gas
After smoking, radon gas exposure is the second highest cause of lung cancer in the UK. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas present in miniscule particles of uranium in rocks and soil. Over time the gas can accumulate in homes and buildings and a person may begin to notice they are suffering from a shortness of breath. Moreover, radon gas exposure actually enhances the rate at which lung cancer developers if you are a smoker, and so for a smoker living in a high radon environment the risks are exponentially increased. You can click here to find out more about how to measure the radon levels in your house from Public Health England and act accordingly.

Asbestos
Though banned as a substance used in construction since 1999, asbestos is still present in many buildings constructed before that period. Used for its strong insulation and fire retardant capabilities, asbestos can be massively harmful to the lungs once inhaled, causing a variety of diseases. Damage from asbestos doesn’t begin to show the effects until several years after the initial exposure, and so it often afflicts men in their 40s and upwards who had worked with asbestos in their line of work; construction workers, painters and decorators, and heating engineers to name a few. It’s estimated around 1% of all men aged over 40 have been affected by asbestos, and it’s likely that they will be able to claim compensation. You can click here to visit the Asbestos Advice Helpline’s lung cancer page to start your claim today with the help of dedicated professionals with years of experience.