A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. Several risk factors make a person more likely to develop lung cancer:
- Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, with nearly 90 percent of lung cancers thought to be a result of smoking.
Additional risk factors include:
- secondhand smoke - breathing in the smoke of others
smoking marijuana cigarettes, which:
- contain more tar than tobacco cigarettes.
- are inhaled very deeply.
- are smoked all the way to the end where tar content is the highest.
- recurring inflammation, such as from tuberculosis and some types of pneumonia
- asbestos exposure
- talcum powder While no increased risk of lung cancer has been found from the use of cosmetic talcum powder, some studies of talc miners and millers suggest a higher risk of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases from their exposure to industrial grade talc. Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral that, in its natural form, may contain asbestos. Although, by law, all home-use talcum products (baby, body, and facial powders) have been asbestos-free.
cancer-causing agents in the workplace, including:
- radioactive ores such as uranium
- vinyl chloride
- nickel chromates
- coal products
- mustard gas
- chloromethyl ethers
- fuels such as gasoline
- diesel exhaust
- radon - a radioactive gas that cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled. It is produced by the natural breakdown of uranium.
- personal history of lung cancer
- air pollution In some cities, air pollution may slightly increase the risk of lung cancer.