Thu, 09 Dec 2021


The number of lung cancers worldwide is increasing. The causes of lung cancer are not only genetics, smoking, and air pollution. "Radon" produced indoors is also one of the factors that increase the risk of lung cancer.


Inhaling polluted gases increases the risk of lung cancer. (Photo via Unsplash)

London, UK (Merxwire) - The number of people who have lung cancer in the world continues to increase! In the past, people believed that smoking was the leading cause of lung cancer, and the government urged people to stay away from smoking. However, in recent years, the smoking population in some countries/regions has declined, while the number of lung cancers has increased. Therefore, experts have begun to look for other causes of lung cancer, among which radon is a factor that is often overlooked by the public.

Common factors that cause lung cancer

Inhalation of pollution sources is the leading cause of lung cancer. Cities with severe industrial pollution have the more particulate matter, so industrial areas are more prone to lung cancer. In particular, particulate matter with a particle size of 2.5 micrometers has stronger penetrating power, can penetrate into lung tissue, and enter the blood along with blood vessels, which greatly impacts the human body and ecology.

Common factors that cause lung cancer include
1. Smoking
2. Air pollution
3. Exposure to a specific environment
4. Inhale cooking fumes
5. Have lung-related diseases
6. Have a family history of lung cancer

Among them, people exposed to specific environments, including long-term exposure to certain heavy metal substances, such as chromium, cadmium, arsenic, etc., or those exposed to diesel engine exhaust and asbestos, have a higher incidence of lung cancer. In addition, certain building materials also contain radiation and radon gas. When people inhale too much radon, it will also increase the risk of lung cancer.

What is Radon?

Radon is a chemical element. It is a colorless and odorless gas, but it is radioactive, and its radiation can cause damage to health. Due to the strong radioactivity of radon, chemical research on radon is difficult, and there are few known compounds. Radon can attach to dust particles in the air, and if such dust particles enter the breathing duct, they will attach to the airways of the lungs to increase the risk of lung cancer.

Radon is an important indoor air pollutant, mainly from decorative marble, granite, sedimentary rock, igneous rock, and other rocks. In buildings where the air is difficult to circulate, it is particularly easy to detect high radon concentrations, such as basements, storage rooms, and other narrow spaces.

Experts speculate that people who do not smoke may have lung cancer because of radon. Take Taiwan as an example: half of the people with lung cancer do not smoke, and some patients do not even cook, which may be caused by air pollution or radon. How to stay away from the hazards of radon? It is a good way to reduce the use of specific stones when decorating, maintain the air circulation in the room, or install additional monitoring equipment.

Lung cancer incidence and mortality risk

At the end of 2020, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released the latest estimates on the global burden of cancer, which included estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in 185 countries. The report shows that one in five people has had cancer in their lifetime, and one in eight men and one in ten women have lost their lives due to cancer. On the other hand, in 2020, the number of new lung cancer cases worldwide has reached approximately 2.21 million, and its mortality rate is still higher than that of any other cancer.

The most common new cases of cancer in 2020
1. Breast (2.26 million cases)
2. Lung (2.21 million cases)
3. Colon and rectum (1.93 million cases)
4. Prostate (1.41 million cases)
5. Skin (non-melanoma) (1.20 million cases)
6. Stomach (1.09 million cases)
Source: WHO

The most common causes of cancer death in 2020
1. Lung (1.80 million deaths)
2. Colon and rectum (935,000 deaths)
3. Liver (830,000 deaths)
4. Stomach (769,000 deaths)
5. Breast (685,000 deaths)
Source: WHO

To stay away from lung cancer, people must pay attention to the environment and air quality, leave the environment with carcinogenic factors, do not smoke, allow air circulation, and also remember to turn on the exhaust device when cooking. Many countries have introduced air quality monitoring systems, and if today's air quality is not good, please reduce outdoor activities or wear masks to reduce inhalation of pollution sources.

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