Smoking is responsible for 87 percent of all lung cancer cases in the United States. Eliminating tobacco use is the key to reducing the impact of this disease.
Symptoms of lung cancer vary from person to person and may include:
• a cough that will not go away and gets worse over time
• constant chest pain, or arm and shoulder pain
• coughing up blood
• shortness of breath, wheezing or hoarseness
• repeated episodes of pneumonia or bronchitis
• swelling of the neck and face
• loss of appetite and/or weight loss
• clubbing of fingers
Many of these symptoms are not cancer, but if you notice one or more
of them for more than two weeks, see your doctor.
Many factors may influence the development of lung cancer, including:
• smoking This is by far the most important risk factor. Also at higher risk are individuals who smoke cigars and pipes.
• family history Research is beginning to show that a family history of lung cancer may be a risk factor.
• personal history A person with a previous lung cancer diagnosis is more likely to develop a second
• occupational or environmental exposure People who are routinely exposed to radon or asbestos are at increased risk for developing lung cancer — particularly if they are smokers.
• radiation exposure People who are routinely exposed to radiation from occupational, medical and
environmental sources are at increased risk.
• industrial exposure People who are exposed to certain industrial substances like arsenic could be at
• air pollution The byproducts from the combustion of fossil fuels can put people at risk.
• environmental tobacco smoke People who live with or who are routinely around smokers are at higher risk.
• lung diseases People with lung diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) are at higher risk.
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