It may come as a surprise to many that in the UK, lung cancer is the second most diagnosed form of this awful disease. Statistics from 2007-2012 showed us that approximately 40,000 people were diagnosed each and every year, with an actual slight increase in the numbers over this period of time. To this end, a number or causes and risk factors have been identified and are widely proven to be the primary causes of lung cancers. In this article we’re going to identify and discuss the various factors that contribute to the relatively high numbers of diagnosed lung cancer.
A cancer risk factor is a particular thing which has attributed to the level of lung cancer in the UK. These factors greatly increase the possibility that you will develop lung cancer if you are exposed to them. For example, smoking tobacco has for a long time been credited with being the number one risk factor associated with lung cancer. This has largely been the case globally and many countries have taken steps to reduce this risk.
Unfortunately for the male sex, this type of cancer has always been more prevalent in men. This may be down to a larger portion of the population being male smokers, but it is not always necessarily the case. Those individuals who have never smoked can also develop lung cancer, presently this figure stands at about 15% of diagnosed cases being associated with non smokers, which is why there is a range of risk factors which you should consider. It is inevitably true that the more you smoke, the greater your chance of developing the disease, however if somebody decides to quit smoking, the chances of then developing the disease are greatly reduced in a relatively short period of time.
Another risk factor which is very specific to the housing market in the UK is that presented by Radon gas. In the south west of England in particular the level of Radon gas found in the ground can be dangerously high. It is a gas that is found in the ground and permeates through the soil and into the foundations of homes. If breathed in, Radon gas can cause lung cancer in the occupants. While UK statistics are not sound, it is known that around 9% of diagnosed cases in Europe as a whole are caused by exposure to Radon gas. Modern construction of homes will almost always include a protective Radon gas barrier in the foundations to help mitigate the risk.
Another important risk factor that can be viewed as outside of our control is age. While general good health, exercise and a balanced diet will help to reduce the level of risk, like many other types of cancer, lung cancer can be found more commonly in the elderly. Around 80% of diagnosed cases are found in individuals who are over the age of 60. More rarely it can be found in people below 50 but this is the exception and it is rare for somebody below this age to develop the disease.