November is lung cancer awareness month, a time to learn about one of the most common and deadly forms of cancer. Although the disease is often associated with smoking, according to the American Cancer Society, as many as 20 percent of people who die from lung cancer in the U.S. each year have never used a tobacco product. Here are three ways you can develop the disease even if you’ve never touched a cigarette.
I – Word Understanding
Associated – connected (with)
Genetics – The study of heredity, or how the characteristics of living things are
transmitted from one generation to the next.
II – Have Your Say
A. Aside from lung cancer/health, smoking affects various parts of the body. Can you name some negative effects of smoking to our body (e.g. skin, dental, digestive, reproductive, etc)?
B. Let’s discuss these 3 other ways that could cause lung cancer:
1. Environmental factors play a major role in your individual lung cancer risk, and according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that forms naturally as a result of the decay of radioactive elements such as uranium.
2. Although non-smokers have already significantly decreased their risk of lung cancer, they could be unknowingly increasing their risk with lifestyle. For example, spending a large amount of time in areas where they are exposed to secondhand smoke can seriously increase that risk.
3. Some individuals have a genetic predisposition to lung cancer. According to The American Cancer Society, some specific genetic mutations are actually more common in non-smoking lung cancer patients than smokers.