Risk factors of Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

The risk factors involve the most prone activities capable of increasing the chances of cancer. While, risk factors are mainly considered influential towards cancer development as some of the risk factors are not directly responsible for causing cancer. Some individuals with several risk factors do not tend to develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors are prone to develop cancer. Hence, seeking appropriate information regarding the related risk factors for improving the lifestyle and making good healthcare choices. Following are some of the significant risk factors that led towards the adherence of developing lung cancer among the individuals:

Cigarette smoking

The epidemic of lung cancer has evolved from the habitual lifestyle of individuals prone to cigarette smoking. And so, the prevalence of tobacco has affected the lives of many individuals ​1​. Smoking habits among individuals damages lung cells and can also result in abnormal cell growth. And so, the significant health risks are caused to more prone to smoking habits. Also, the exposure to constant smoke even evolved from other cigarettes, have tended to cause increased health risk to cancer, although the individual does not possess any smoking habit ​2​

Air pollution

Exposure to air pollution involves the exposure to various harmful emissions such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds, oxidative stress, inflammation, induction of a pro-coagulatory state, and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. Exposure to outdoor air pollution has also been the leading cause of cancer. The other source of air pollution exposure such as transportation and industrial fumes, power generation, and smoke from intentional burning and wildfires are also harmful. However, the individuals showing a history of smoking habits show a higher risk of lung cancer ​3​. Hence, the exposure to air pollution can be checked for the specific region while avoiding the adoption of outdoor activities due to higher levels ​4​.

Occupational exposure

While many individuals are more prone to exposure to carcinogens, increasing the risk of lung cancer. There are several common carcinogens such as crystalline silica and chrysotile asbestos. And so, these common carcinogens are responsible for exposing individuals to silica dust and asbestos fiber, which tend to cause a significant risk of cancer development. Thus the individuals working in uranium miners and nuclear plants show an increased risk of lung cancer exposure to radioactive particulate mass ​5​


Some individuals tend to show a genetic predisposition for adherence to lung cancer. Although several individuals have been found to have no smoking habits in their entire life cycle, still individuals with one of their parents’ siblings who have been suffering from lung cancer tend to show a higher risk towards the development of lung cancer due to mutational changes within their genes which are genetic ​6​. And so, the significant risk of developing lung cancer is evolved from the carriers of mutated copies of the affected gene from the cancer patient. The genes have also made individuals more vulnerable to cancer ​7​

Radon exposure

The occurrence of the radon within the environment is possible due to the natural decay of uranium in the soil, which later enters the houses through cracks in the foundation, sump pumps, wires and becomes trapped ​8​. While this gas is invisible and odorless, released from the soil and rocks. The hardware stores consist of testing kits for testing the radon exposure within the homes, and the basements are equipped with proper ventilation for decreasing the level of radon exposure ​9​

Other related risk factors lead to the development of lung cancer among the individuals being enlisted below:


The higher age group of individuals are more prone to cancer development when compared with the individuals within the median age of diagnosis being 71 years old ​10​ . And so, the adherence to lung cancer is mainly found among younger adults and less commonly found among children. 

Ionizing radiations

Exposure to ionizing radiation is also considered as a significant risk factor for developing non-small lung cancer cells. The radiation therapy provided to the patients during cancer treatment tends to increase the risk among those individuals who have adhered to the radiation for Hodgkin’s disease ​11​. The protocol of mastectomy evolves, and radiation therapy tends to increase the risk of lung cancer.

Medication conditions

Several medications such as immunosuppression in HIV/AIDS and organ transplant recipients, drugs of rheumatoid arthritis, use of ACE inhibitors show a higher risk of lung cancer (Aerts et al., 2014).

Diet and exercise

Dietary intake is concerned with the increased or decreased risk of cancer. Additionally, arsenic in the drinking water has shown an increased risk of lung cancer. Even so, the information of dietary supplements with a significant concentration of beta-carotene has increased the risk of the development of lung cancer ​12​. The lack of physical activities can also increase the risk of converting non-small cell lung cancer to a small degree with the integration of regular exercises that may reduce the risk of lung cancer.


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