Did you know that non-smokers can be impacted by lung cancer risks?
Most 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 the risk of lung cancer.
Tobacco usage is one of the many factors that can lead to the disease. But 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 Health.com. “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.
Personal or family history of lung cancer
If you’ve had lung cancer, you have a greater risk of developing another lung cancer.
Also, a strong family history of the disease (brothers, sisters, and children of people who have had lung cancer) is linked to increased risk, researchers say.