Everyone had either heard of it or used it at least once in their lives that, “prevention is better than cure.” However, prevention can possibly save one from getting weak, or regular cold. But the truth is to be told that several diseases are incurable after crossing a certain stage.
Over the decades, Cancer has become one of the major causes of deaths. Out of 8 major types of cancer, lung cancer is one of the most widely spread cancer which kills the maximum number of people each year, which includes both men and women around the globe. We all have heard of examples where cancer patients are cured, however, the number of people dying from it is rapidly increasing.
Existence Before Cigarettes
You’ll be surprised to know that lung cancer existed much before cigarettes came in trend. When there was almost no pollution compared to today’s date. The first case of lung cancer was recorded in 1761. But those days, only people with multiple health issues used to have it. Also, it is assumed that lung cancer only affects the lungs, when in reality this disease can spread across the body in a process called metastasis which means tumors can spread to the brain and can cause loss of vital functions e.g. vision.
How’s It Possible?
Cigarette smoking is the most common reason that increases the risk of lung cancer. Not only for those who smoke but for those who are passively exposed to tobacco smoke have almost equal chances of lung cancer. These two are the main reasons behind lung cancer.
Smoking? Not Really
Yes, smoking is the major cause of lung cancer. However, neither every smoker has lung cancer nor lung cancer occurs only in smokers. “In nonsmokers, radon exposure is thought to be a major preventable cause of lung cancer,” stated Mara Antonoff, MD, a thoracic surgeon and assistant professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Transferred Through Genes?
Not every smoker and passive smoker develops lung cancer and there are patients who never did tobacco smoking and still have the disease which leads to the question; what actually causes this killer disease?
We all inherit certain genes and when genes intervene, DNA repair it brings people under higher risk for not only lung cancer but several types of cancer. There’s no certainty about it though, it’s been said that lung cancer can be caused due to individual’s genetic sensitivity. So far, there is no test to identify the increased genetic risk of cancer for conventional use.
“We know that in Asian women, for example, there’s an increased risk of developing lung cancer without ever having smoked, and many of these tumors will have genetic mutations. We’re currently researching biomarkers — such as blood tests — to try to catch cancers before they progress to late-stage tumors, even in nonsmokers,” tells Mara Antonoff.
Pollution’s Another Reason!
“The air we breathe is filled with cancer-causing substances. Outdoor air pollution is not only a major environmental risk to health in general, it is the most important environmental cancer killer due to a large number of people exposed,” explains Kurt Straif, Ph.D., head of the IARC Monographs Section.
The research found that “tiny dust-like particles – called ‘particulate matter’, or PM – are an important part of air pollution. The smallest particles – less than 2.5 millionths of a meter across, known as PM2.5 – appear to be behind lung cancers caused by pollution.”