Developing Lung Cancer: You May Be At Risk and Not Know ItRisk factors for developing lung and bronchus cancers range from the obvious, like smoking tobacco, to the not-so-obvious, like exposure to air pollution. However, what can be difficult to realize is that among those risk factors are ways of developing lung cancer that you’d never think to watch out for. Some environmental factors that we typically don’t associate with increasing the risk of cancer do just that.
There are also ailments which open the door for lung cancer to develop, and in some rare circumstances, even treatments for a completely different cancer can trigger the development of lung cancer.
Exposure to Soot or Radon Gas
A 2002 study by the New York University School of Medicine on soot particles in ambient air links prolonged exposure to those particles to increased risk of developing lung cancer. People who reside in large cities, where air pollution can be very high, are at greater risk of being exposed to the soot particles, and consequently, are at a greater risk of one day developing lung cancer.
Radon gas, according to the National Cancer Institute, is a radioactive gas released from decaying uranium in the ground. The gas typically diffuses into the air upon release from the rocks and soil, but that’s not the case if there are conditions of poor ventilation. Mines are prime examples of places Radon gas can be released from the ground without any way to diffuse into the atmosphere, and since the gas is undetectable to humans, it can wreak havoc on the cells lining the lungs, ultimately increasing the risk of developing lung or bronchus cancer.
Tuberculosis and Bronchitis
According to the Mayo Clinic, tuberculosis is an infectious lung disease which is deadly enough on its own. However, it has been discovered that the scarring left behind by the disease can greatly increase one’s risk of developing lung cancer. Virtually the same can be said for bronchitis, which is defined as a condition seen when the mucus membranes utilized during inhalation become inflamed. The resulting damage to the skin in the bronchi can lead to cancerous cells forming.
Radiation Therapy to the Chest
As horrifying as it sounds, it is possible to develop lung cancer while treating a different cancer through radiation therapy. Diseases like breast cancer can lead to radiation therapy being used to shrink tumors and rid the affected area of cancerous cells. Radiation therapy works by destroying the DNA of cancerous cells with an energy beam, but unfortunately, normal cells can also be destroyed during this process.
Although it’s very rare, radiation treatment to the breast or chest area can lead to increased risk of developing lung cancer.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lung or bronchus cancer and feel it was discovered late by your doctor in Georgia, please request a copy of our free book, I Have Cancer… Should It Have Been Caught Earlier?, and contact an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice and lung cancer lawyer at the Dover Law Firm at 770-518-1133 for more information.