Lung cancer risk factors are behaviors and traits that experts believe increase a person’s chance of developing this disease. However, it’s important to keep in mind that having one or more of these risk factors does not necessarily indicate that one will develop lung cancer. Additionally, it is possible to develop lung cancer while not having any known risk factors present. Regardless, individuals should be mindful of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer so that if it does develop, it can be caught in its earliest stages when there are typically more treatment options available. Near St. Petersburg, Florida, in Tampa, the experts in Moffitt Cancer Center’s Thoracic Oncology Program help patients determine their individual risk factors to establish an appropriate screening schedule. For long-time smokers, we offer extensive lung cancer screening that is among the best in the nation. For our efforts, we have been named a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance.
One of the leading risk factors for lung cancer is smoking, which is thought to be the cause of about 80 percent of all lung cancer deaths. However, while a person’s risk of developing lung cancer increases with the number of years they have been smoking as well as the number of cigarettes they smoke per day, their risk can also go down if they quit smoking. Furthermore, secondhand smoke is also a risk factor, so non-smokers should take care to avoid breathing in secondhand smoke whenever possible.
In addition to smoking, the following factors have been linked to an increased risk of developing lung cancer:
- A personal or family history of lung cancer
- A history of radiation therapy administered to the chest, such as for breast cancer treatment
- Exposure to air pollution, radon or other environmental hazards
- Exposure to diesel exhaust, coal products, asbestos, silica or other occupational carcinogens
- Taking or having previously taken beta carotene supplements
If you live in St. Petersburg, FL, and have questions regarding your individual lung cancer risk factors, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. We do not require referrals.