Risk Factors/Signs and Symptoms

Research is increasing regarding what we know about Lung Cancer. Scientists are learning more about its causes and why some patients develop the disease while others do not. Following are common risk factors for the disease:

Age - Most people are older than 65 years when diagnosed with the disease.

Air Pollution - Air pollution may slightly increase the risk of lung cancer.

Asbestos and Other Substances - Exposure to asbestos, arsenic, chromium, nickel, soot, tar, and other substances can cause lung cancer. The risk is highest for those with years of exposure.

Family History - Patients with a father, mother, brother, or sister who had lung cancer may be at slightly increased risk of the disease, even if they don't smoke.

Radon - Radon is a radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell, or taste. It forms in soil and rocks. Radon damages lung cells, and people exposed to radon are at increased risk of lung cancer.

Smoking - Tobacco smoke causes most cases of lung cancer and is the primary risk for lung cancer. The smoke damages lung cells and is why smoking cigarettes, pipes, or cigars can cause lung cancer.

Workplace Cancer-Causing Agents - Radioactive ores, (such as uranium), inhaled chemicals or minerals (such as arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, vinyl chloride, nickel compounds, chromium compounds, coal products, mustard gas, and chloromethyl ethers) and diesel exhaust have also been shown to cause Lung Cancer

Signs and Symptoms

Early lung cancer often does not cause symptoms. But as the cancer grows, common symptoms may include:

A cough that gets worse or does not go away 

Breathing trouble and shortness of breath 

Constant chest pain 

Coughing up blood 

Frequent lung infections, such as pneumonia 

A hoarse voice 

Tiredness 

Weight loss

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