Could air pollution overtake smoking as the No1 cause of lung cancer?

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Lung cancer is responsible for more deaths than any other type of cancer in the USA today. In the past, the biggest risk factor associated with lung cancer was smoking. But the number of people smoking has been on the decline for many years now. So why is this particular cancer still at the top of the list?

According to the experts, 23% of lung cancer deaths worldwide are caused by exposure to indoor and outdoor pollution. And according to recent findings women are most at risk. Scientists from the University of British Colombia found a strong connection between lung cancer and exposure to air pollution in women who had never smoked. In contrast, no link was found for men who had never smoked. We don’t yet know why nonsmoking women are more susceptible to developing lung cancer than men but genetics or hormones may play a part.

Scientists are calling for doctors to be more vigilant. A healthy looking woman, with no history of smoking arrives at the doctors complaining of a cough. Lung cancer is last thing on a doctor’s mind. But as air pollution levels remain high, women may be more at risk than we think.

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