Tags: lung | cancer | non | smoker

Rise in Lung Cancer Seen in Non-smokers

Thursday, 06 Sep 2012 03:32 PM


Tobacco use has long been known to be the primary risk factor in lung cancer, but a new report says there has been a significant and unexplained increase in the number of non-smokers diagnosed with the often-fatal disease.
The report, presented a meeting of the European Respiratory Society in Vienna this week, also found an increase in the number of women being diagnosed with the condition.
Researchers from the French College of General Hospital Respiratory Physicians who issued the findings could not identify a reason for the increase, noting little is known about risk factors that can cause lung cancer in non-smokers. They added, however, that the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed earlier this year that exhaust fumes from diesel engines were a cause of lung cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the naturally occurring gas, radon, is also believed to be a factor.
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For the study, the researchers tracked 7,610 people with lung cancer in 2010 – gathering background information on each patient, including age, smoking history, and the stage of their lung cancer at diagnosis. They then compared the results to information gathered on a similar group of lung cancer patients 10 years earlier.
The results showed 11.9 percent of the lung cancer cases in the 2010 study were non-smokers – an increase from 7.9 percent from 10 years earlier. In addition, 24.4 percent of the lung cancer patients in the 2010 study were female; an increase from 16 percent in 2000.
About 58 percent of patients were diagnosed at the most advanced stage of the disease, when the cancer has spread to both lungs, or another part of the body. This marks an increase from 43 percent in 2000.
"We have seen from these results the change in lung cancer over the last 10 years,” said lead researcher Dr. Chrystèle Locher. “Not only has there been an increase in the number of women and non-smokers contracting the disease, but there has also been an increase in the number of cases diagnosed in [advanced stages] of the illness.
"We recently saw that the WHO have classified diesel fumes as carcinogenic, but more research is needed to understand other factors that could contribute to lung cancer in non-smokers. Anti-smoking campaigns must also target women more specifically, as we can see little change in lung cancer rates caused by smoking in women.”
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Researchers report a significant and unexplained increase in non-smokers diagnosed with lung cancer.
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2012-32-06
Thursday, 06 Sep 2012 03:32 PM
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