It’s very important to keep your lungs in superb shape because it’s through them that your body can obtain much-needed oxygen — without oxygen, you cannot exist. Unfortunately, there all sorts of problems concerning your lungs that may strike, and one of them is cancer.

Knowing some of the risk factors of cancer of the lungs can help you determine whether or not you are at risk of having the deadly disease. A risk factor, by the way, is anything that can increase your likelihood of developing a health problem. So in other words, a risk factor of lung cancer is something that may leave you with this form of the big C.

Some risk factors of lung cancer can be avoided. This only means that doing some lifestyle and dietary changes may help lower the odds of cancer striking your lungs. But then there are also risk factors of lung cancer that you can do nothing about. Both changeable and unchangeable forms of risk factors will be discussed in a few.

But do take note that you should not lose hope in case you have one risk factor or multiple risk factors of lung cancer. Some people who have these risk factors do not suffer from lung cancer at all. Similarly, there are also those who suffer from lung cancer but do not have any of the risk factor of cancer of the lungs.

Prior to tackling risk factors of lung cancer that you can do something about, let’s discuss one thing you cannot change that doctors say can increase your likelihood of having lung cancer:

Family history 

If a relative of yours is diagnosed with lung cancer, then you may also develop the same form of cancer. It is said that those who have family members with lung cancer are twice as likely to have it compared to those who do not have relatives suffering from it. Do take not that if a first-degree relative of yours has lung cancer, like a parent or sibling, then your odds of one day battling lung cancer is even higher.

Now that this unchangeable risk factor of lung cancer is out of the way, let’s now focus our attention to those risk factors of cancer of the lungs over which you have power. Some of them include:

Cigarette smoking 

Everyone knows that smoking can have terrible effects on the various organs of the body. But because the toxins present in cigarette smoke gets to the vital organs by means of the lungs, your lungs tend to get the most impact. This is why your risk of having lung cancer or dying from this disease one day is 15 to 30 times higher than a non-smoker, according to medical experts.

Inhalation of secondhand smoke 

If you do not smoke cigarettes but you live with or are friends with cigarette smokers, then you’re not out of the woods. Experts say that breathing in secondhand smoke may put you at risk of suffering from lung cancer. In fact, more than 7,000 people in the US die each year of lung cancer because of inhalation of secondhand smoke.

Exposure to carcinogens 

Exposure to carcinogens — anything that can trigger cancer formation — can put you at risk of having lung cancer. Scientists say that radon, a type of gas, is something that can increase your likelihood of developing lung cancer. The same is true with the likes of asbestos, chromium, nickel and arsenic — exposure to these chemicals can greatly increase your lung cancer risk especially if you’re a smoker.


Are you living in the heart of the city where the air is incredibly polluted? If so, then you may be at risk of facing lung cancer one day — all the pollutants in the air you breathe may cause cancer to strike your lungs. However, it’s not just outdoor air pollution that you have to worry about, but also indoor air pollution.