While other products (asbestos, radon, tar, aromatic hydrocarbons, etc.) can result in the development of lung cancer, it is undeniable that smoking plays the main role in the occurrence of this tumor. In fact, about 90 of broncho-pulmonary cancers are diagnosed in smokers or former smokers. The danger is even more important when you have started smoking during adolescence. In addition, the risk is even higher among cigarette smokers who inhale the smoke or smoke cigarettes with high tar content. However, it is shown that the risk of lung cancer is somewhat lower in smokers of pipe.
Stopping Smoking Does Not Guarantee That You Will Not Develop Lung Cancer
Smoking has an effect on your genes, which makes you at risk of having lung cancer even long after you stop smoking. When you stop smoking, your body starts to gradually eliminate the toxic effects of tobacco, and reduces the risk of the disease. However, this elimination is never total; the risk of developing lung cancer still exists even decades after the cessation. That’s the reason lung cancer is so common among former smokers.
Passive Smoking Can Also Lead To The Development Of Lung Cancer
The dangers of passive smoking had been refuted by many. In 2002, the results of a research by a group of experts from 12 countries show that being voluntary or involuntarily exposed to tobacco smoke can also cause lung cancer. In fact, there are about 40 cancerous substances in tobacco. Once a non-smoker (passive smokers) is exposed to these carcinogens, he/she has about the same risk of developing lung cancer. However, passive smoking has a greater influence in women than in men. Approximately one third of women non-smokers develop lung cancer unlike men who have a percentage less than 3%.
Asbestos Cancer or Mesothelioma
The lungs may also be affected by a form of tumor called malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer of the mesothelium, a thin membrane that surrounds the lungs, abdominal cavity and heart. Mesothelioma, of which main cause is the inhalation of asbestos, develops about 30 years after initial exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos is a microscopic fiber colored blue, gray or sometimes brown. It is long used in industry to protect against fire. It presents a risk to health when fibers become detached from the material and spread in the air or they may be inhaled into the airways and settle in the alveoli of the lungs. Once deposited on the mesothelium of the lungs, asbestos fibers alter the cell division of the bronchial epithelium, which tends to lead, over time, to mesothelioma, a malignant lung tumor; or asbestosis, a progressive inflammation and hardening of the alveoli.