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Small Cell Lung Cancer Risk Factors  

Most common small-cell lung cancer risk factors include:  

  • Being a miner – mining uranium frequently increases the risk of all types of lung cancers including small-cell lung cancer. The risk is higher if you are a smoker. 
  • Radiation - exposure to tobacco smoke and radiation are risk factors that act synergistically to the development of small-cell lung cancer.  
  • Chloromethyl ether – studies has shown that bis(chloromethyl) ether can cause lung cancer and other malignant tumors in people and animals. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that bis (chloromethyl) ether is a known human carcinogen.  
  • Carcinogenic substances - prolonged exposure to certain substances such as radon and asbestosis can lead to the development of small-cell lung cancer. Asbestos exposure alone increases your lung cancer risk by 9 times; when associated with cigarette smoking, the risk can be increased up to 50 times.  
  • Diet low in fruits and vegetables – diet low in fruits and vegetable can lead to major health problems. In the other hand, regular consumption of fruits and vegetables exert a protective effect in people exposed to tobacco smoke. Numerous studies have shown a lower risk of lung cancer among consumers of fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene: sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, spinach and other dark green vegetables, winter squash, etc.  
  • Sex – men are twice affected by lung cancer than women are; however, according to the National Cancer Institute, the incidence of lung cancer started to decline among males in the early 1980s and has continued to do so over past 20 years. 
  • Age - lung cancer can affect people of all ages; however, the most cases of small cell lung cancer occur in people aged 35-75 years. According to American Cancer Society, the incidence of lung cancer (non-small cell lung and small cell combined) among men and women are as follows:  

Age  

Men 

Women 

0-39 

0.04% 

0.03% 

40-59 

1.24% 

0.92% 

60-79 

6.29% 

4.04% 

from birth to death  

8.09% 

5.78% 

 

 

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