Non-Smokers: These Lung Cancer Risks & Symptoms Apply To You, Too

lung cancer human body animationMost of the advice you hear about preventing lung cancer, although well-meaning, is often linked just to smoking. But what if you’ve never smoked? Being a non-smoker doesn’t automatically clear you from risk of lung cancer.

While tobacco usage is one of the many factors that can lead to the disease, the truth is that nearly 20 percent  of people who die from lung cancer in the U.S. annually don’t smoke or use any form of tobacco, according to the American Cancer Society.

“It’s true that the majority of people with lung cancer have some history of tobacco use,” Andrea, McKee, MD, a Lung Association spokesperson told “Having said that, 15% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer have no history of tobacco use — and they may be quite young.”

McKee states that lung cancer is highly curable when diagnosed early.  Below are risk factors and symptoms that smokers and non-smokers alike should know.

Risk Factors

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