Do non-smokers get lung cancer?
Non-smokers account for about one in five (20%) of men with lung cancer cases, and over half of women.
Author: Jonathan Meddings
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.9/5 Votes: 629
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Lung cancer is when cells in the lung replicate uncontrollably and form tumors, which are masses of abnormal cells, inside the lung. The cancer can then sometimes spread to other parts of the body.
Lung cancer results from damage to lung cells that causes them to replicate uncontrollably. In most cases this damage is caused directly by smoking or by second-hand smoke.
Lung cancer is diagnosed by a lung biopsy. A biopsy may be obtained by fine-needle aspiration or during a bronchoscopy.
Lung cancer is treated using surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The combination of these techniques will depend on what type of cancer in involved and how far it has progressed.
Symptoms of lung cancer include shortness of breath, bronchitis, wheezing and coughing, weight loss, swollen lymph nodes and pain radiating to the chest, shoulders and back.
Smoking is the cause of most lung cancers so not smoking, or quitting if you do, is the best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer. It is also recommended to take precautions around hazardous material such as asbestos.
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