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Cause and effect

Lung cancer

About diseases humanity has not yet learned to treat, cancer is probably one of
the most feared illnesses. Unlike HIV or other diseases widely spread in countries with
low standards of living, cancers geography is much wider, including both rich and poor
countries equally. Among the variety of different types of cancer, one of the most
common is lung cancer; the environment in which people live in the 21st century greatly
contributes to the development of this type of cancer.
The first and the most popular cause of lung cancer is smoking cigarettes. By
numerous estimates, smoking cigarettes causes approximately 86% of lung cancer
cases, including cases caused by passive exposure to smoke exhaled by other
smokers. These chances even increase if a person had started smoking tobacco at a
young age. Passive smoking poses a lesser threat, but is still dangerous is known that
passive smokers have a 25% higher risk of lung cancer compared to people who are
not exposed to the smoke of cigarettes. Regular heavy exposure to environmental
tobacco smoke can increase the risk of lung cancer.
Genetics and lung diseases in ones genetics can also become significant risk
factors of lung cancer. For example, if a persons mother, father, sibling, aunt, uncle, or
grandparent has had lung cancer, the chances of this person developing lung cancer
slightly increases. At the same time, it has not been yet researched whether genes
indeed increase cancer chances, or they increase individuals susceptibility to this
disease. As for lung diseases, some of them are known to affect the chances of cancer
development. In particular, among such diseases are tuberculosis and chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease. Other illnesses like chronic bronchitis and emphysema
can cause scarring in the lungs, which means the increase of the amount of tissue in
them and as it is known, cancer is an uncontrolled division of cells, and the respective
multiplication of tissues.
As for other environmental factors, one of the most significant among them is the
exposure to asbestos fibers and similar materials. Usually, a person is exposed to these
silicate materials at the workplace: technical works, such as thermal and acoustic
insulation, involve the usage of asbestos. Nowadays, asbestos is limited or even
prohibited from usage, since it has been proven that asbestos materials can cause both
lung cancer and mesothelioma (cancer of the lungs pleura, as well as cancer of
peritoneum a lining of the abdominal cavity). Even non-smoking asbestos workers have
a five times higher risk of developing lung cancer; as for the smoking asbestos workers,
their chances to get cancer are up to ninety-fold greater than nonsmokers
As it can be seen, lung cancer does not develop on its own, but is triggered by a
number of factors. The first and foremost of them is smoking tobacco, both active and
passive. Exposure to asbestos materials also increases a persons chances to get lung
cancer. Also, genetics and past lung illnesses can lead to the development of this type
of cancer. The cure for lung cancer is not finalized, and remains an epidemic.