NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Lung Cancer Screening - page 7

7
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Lung Cancer Screening
Version 1.2014
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Part 2: Am I at risk?
Some people are more likely to develop lung cancer than others. Anything that
increases your chances of lung cancer is called a risk factor. Risk factors can be
activities that people do, things in the environment, or traits passed down from
parents to children through genes. If one or more risk factors applies to you, it
doesn’t mean you’ll get lung cancer. Likewise, lung cancer occurs in some people
who have no known risk factors. The known risk factors for lung cancer are:
Risk Factors
• Tobacco smoking,
• Contact with radon,
• Contact with asbestos or other cancer-causing agents,
• Having had certain other cancers,
• Family who’ve had lung cancer,
• Having had other lung diseases, and
• Contact with second-hand smoke.
Tobacco smoking
Tobacco smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer. It also accounts for
85 out of 100 people dying from lung cancer. The link between smoking and lung
cancer was first reported in 1939, and since then it has been firmly proven. Smoking
also increases the risk for cancer in many other areas of the body, such as the
bladder, esophagus, and neck. There are over 50 compounds in tobacco smoke
that are known to cause cancer. Any smoking increases your risk for lung cancer,
but the more you smoke, the higher your risk. If you quit smoking, your risk will
Asbestos:
A mineral
fiber used in housing and
commercial materials
Bladder:
An organ that
holds and expels urine from
the body
Esophagus:
The tube-
shaped digestive organ
between the mouth and
stomach
Genes:
Instructions in cells
for making and controlling
cells
Radon:
A gas without odor,
taste, or color
Second-hand smoke:
Inhaled smoke from a lit
smoking product or that
was exhaled by a smoker
Definitions
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