World Lung Cancer Day 2022: Are non-smokers also at risk of developing it?


Smoking or tobacco consumption has long been known as the primary cause of lung cancer worldwide. But, turns out, that non-smokers are equally at risk. “According to an important study on Indian subjects, 88 per cent of female lung cancer patients were non-smokers, compared to 41.8 per cent of males, concluding that environmental and genetic factors were involved in the case of non-smokers,” said Dr Niti Raizada, Director, Medical Oncology and Hemato-Oncology, Fortis Group of Hospitals, Bangalore.

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As we observe World Lung Cancer Day — aimed at raising awareness about the disease and the risk factors – today, let’s understand how non-smokers can also develop lung cancer.

According to Dr Raizada, lung cancer in non-smokers can be caused by radon, second-hand smoke, and air pollution, among other factors.

lung cancer Smoking is one of the leading causes of lung cancer (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

“Workplace exposure to asbestos, diesel exhaust, or other chemicals can also cause lung cancer in non-smokers. A small percentage of lung cancer occurs in people with no known disease risk factors. Some of these could simply be random events with no outside cause, while others could be the result of unknown factors,” she added.


To prevent lung cancer among non-smokers, the expert suggested the following measures.

*Avoid second-hand smoke, diesel exhaust, and other forms of air pollution.
*Get your home tested in order to identify and reduce any high radon levels.
*If lung cancer runs in your family, talk to your doctor about preventive measures or the way forward.
*Chronic smokers require regular screening scans starting at 50 years of age and it’s best to stay in touch with an oncologist.

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📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

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