Smoking is one of the major risk factors associated with cancer, however, it is not the only factor that can increase your susceptibility to it. Lung cancer is marked by the abnormal growth and multiplication of malignant cells in the lungs. This is triggered by unintended changes in the DNA of the cells which can be due to a number of different reasons. Now, we all know that cigarette smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer, however, experts specialising in oncology treatment in India suggest that ever-increasing pollution, inhalation of carcinogenic gasses and over-exposure to certain chemicals and toxins may also be accountable for it.
In this blog, we have listed 5 factors that can increase the risks of cancer in non-smokers, with the help of bi experts from the best cancer hospital in Mumbai:
Passive smoking - Also known as second-hand smoking, passive smoking refers to the inhalation of tobacco smoke produced by other people around you. Being exposed to secondhand smoke can increase your susceptibility to lung cancer by 20 to 30 per cent. Even being exposed to it for a short span of time can trigger cancerous changes. Apart from cancer, passive smoking is also known to increase the risks of serious complications like SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and cardiovascular ailments. You can be exposed to it at home, workplaces or any public space. You should simply cover your face and move away. If it is your friend or family member, encourage them to leave smoking.
Radon gas - It is a naturally produced gas, generated by the decay of uranium. Exposure to radon gas can significantly elevate the risks of lung cancer. Unlike most other gases, radon gas decays at a very fast pace, leaving behind small particles that are radioactive in nature. Inhalation of these particles can gradually damage the cells lining the lungs and trigger cancerous changes in them. You will be surprised to know that lung cancer is only cancer that can be caused by inhaling radon gas, the risks of which are higher if one works in a uranium processing factory.
Asbestos - The health hazards of prolonged asbestos exposure are widely known and despite being banned in many countries it is widely used in India without any restriction. It is commonly used for thermal and acoustic insulation. It is made up of tiny fibres that can easily break free and enter the atmosphere. These fibres can be inhaled where they can stay for a lifetime. Asbestos exposure has been linked with two types of cancers, i.e. lung cancer and mesothelioma. The likelihood of developing lung cancer significantly increases if you are exposed to both asbestos and tobacco smoke.
Hereditary - It is not always an external event that is responsible for your lung cancer. Sometimes the problem can be caused by an inherited gene mutation that becomes evident gradually, with time. It is due to this very reason that people with a family history of lung cancer are recommended to go for regular screenings. As per the best doctors in India, inherited lung cancer can affect both smokers as well as non-smokers.
Air pollution - Air pollution has played a major role in the spread of various diseases and ailments, including lung cancer. The air is filled with numerous suspended particles, which if inhaled, can trigger cancerous changes. It has been found that nearly 2,000 cases of lung cancer-related deaths are caused by the inhalation of polluted air.
Hence non-smokers also lie at risk of developing lung cancer. To know more, you can consult the best cancer specialists in Pune at Jupiter Hospital.