How common lung cancer is
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the United Kingdom (excluding non melanoma skin cancer). Around 41,400 people are diagnosed in the UK each year. Smoking and lung cancer
In most people, lung cancer is related to cigarette smoking. Smoking causes nearly 9 out of 10 cases (86%). A further 3% of cases of lung cancer are caused by exposure to second hand smoke in non smokers (passive smoking). Here are some facts about smoking and lung cancer
* The more you smoke, the more likely you are to get lung cancer but it is the length of time you have been a smoker that is most important * Starting smoking at a young age greatly increases the risk * Filtered and low tar cigarettes might not increase your risk quite so much, but most smokers cancel this out by taking more, deeper puffs or smoking more cigarettes * As soon as you stop smoking your risk of lung cancer starts to go down * Passive smoking (breathing in other people's cigarette smoke) increases the risk of lung cancer, but it is still much less than if you smoke yourself It is almost impossible to work out the risk of occasional passive smoking. We know that the risk of lung cancer for passive smokers goes up the more cigarette smoke they are exposed to. Overall, people exposed to environmental tobacco smoke at work or at home have their risk of lung cancer increased by about a quarter compared to people who are not exposed to it. Heavy exposure to environmental tobacco smoke at work has been shown to double the risk of lung cancer. Cigarette smoking is the main cause of lung cancer. But pipe and cigar smokers are still much more likely to get lung cancer than non smokers. They are also much more likely to get cancer of the mouth or lip. In the past, lung cancer has always been more common in men than women. Now, because more women smoke, it is almost as common in women. However long you have been smoking, it is always worth giving it up. Talk to your GP...
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