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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Lung Cancer Screening, Version 1.2017


Are you at risk?

Risk factors for lung cancer | Review

The risk for lung cancer may depend on how much

radon is in the home. For people who’ve had major

contact with radon, such as uranium miners, the risk

for lung cancer is higher for those who smoke than

for those who don’t smoke.

Other cancer-causing agents

Besides radon, 10 other agents are known to cause

lung cancer. Five are metallic chemicals: arsenic,

beryllium, cadmium, chromium, and nickel. The

others are asbestos, coal smoke, soot, silica, and

diesel fumes. Among people who’ve had contact with

these agents, the risk for lung cancer is higher for

those who’ve smoked than for those who’ve never


History of other cancer

Your risk for lung cancer may be increased if you’ve

had other cancers. Having had small cell lung cancer

increases your risk of developing cancer in other

types of lung cells. Likewise, if you’ve had another

smoking-related cancer, like head and neck cancer,

your risk for lung cancer is increased. The risk for

lung cancer increases after receiving radiation

therapy in the chest for other cancers, especially if

you smoke. Treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma with

alkylating agents—a type of cancer drug—increases

the risk for lung cancer too.

History of lung disease

Two lung diseases have been linked to lung cancer.

A history of COPD (








isease) increases your risk for lung cancer. COPD

makes breathing hard because the lung tissue is

damaged or there’s too much mucus. The second

disease linked to lung cancer is pulmonary fibrosis.

Pulmonary fibrosis is major scarring of lung tissue

that makes it hard to breathe. Pulmonary fibrosis

puts someone at higher risk for lung cancer

regardless of their age, being male or female, or

history of smoking.

Family history of lung cancer

Your risk is even higher if your relative had cancer

at a young age or if multiple relatives have had lung

cancer. Lung cancer in families may be due to a

shared environment, genes, or both.




Anything that increases your chances of lung

cancer is called a risk factor.



Tobacco smoking is the major risk factor for

lung cancer.



Ask your doctor for support resources that can

help you quit smoking.

1 out of 14 people develop lung cancer