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
Ask your doctor for support resources that can
help you quit smoking.
1 out of 14 people develop lung cancer