Know the Top Lung Cancer Causes in Non-Smokers

By Dr. Pramod Kumar Julka in Cancer Care / Oncology

Sep 01 , 2017 | 3 min read

In the past few years, the cases of lung cancer have increased alarmingly. It accounts for 6.9% of all the cancer cases, and the numbers are going upwards. This bleak situation urges us to go back to the root causes of the disease to understand the rampant rise.

While many still believe that only smoking causes lung cancer, there are people who suffer from lung cancer even when they have never smoked in their lives. Such people, when they are diagnosed with this deadly disease, cannot understand the reason behind it. Therefore, it is necessary that everyone should know about top lung cancer causes in nonsmokers. If you too want to know about them, then read on and stay safe:

Radon Gas

A chemically inert gas, radon is a natural decay product of uranium. Exposure to radon gas is known to be one of the leading causes of lung cancer. While radon gas is present nearly everywhere, people inhaling high level of radon are more vulnerable to lung cancer.

The level of radon is higher in homes that are well insulated, tightly sealed, and built on soil rich in the elements uranium, radium, and thorium. People living in basement and ground floors have higher exposure to radon. As it is invisible and odorless, one needs simple test kits to detect it.

Passive Smoking

When you spend your time around the people who smoke, it is inevitable that you also inhale the cigarette smoke and get involved in passive smoking.

According to research, nonsmokers who live with a smoker, have 24% high risk towards lung cancer when compared with other nonsmokers. It is believed that as many as 7,000 chemicals are present in passive smoking, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful. This is the reason why the government has banned smoking in public areas.

High levels of Air Pollution

The rising level of air pollution from vehicles, power plants, and various factories also gives rise to lung cancer cases. According to doctors, prolonged exposure to polluted air carries the risk of developing lung cancer. Regions with a high concentration of PM2.5 particles are said to be quite harmful to the people.

Exposure to Cancer-Causing Chemicals

Some workplaces have unhealthy environment containing carcinogens that have the potential to cause lung cancer among the workers. Some of these carcinogens are Asbestos, Arsenic, Silica, diesel exhaust, pesticides, dust, and fumes. Therefore, it is advised that the refinery workers, carpenters, and smelters should limit their exposure to such harmful elements to avoid lung cancer.


Another cause can be related to the genes of an individual. Many studies have shown that lung cancer can also occur in a non-smoker if he/she has any family history of the disease.

Some other causes of lung cancer are lung diseases such as tuberculosis, asthma, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); Hormone replacement therapy (HRT); exposure to radiation, etc.

Now that you have read about the causes, you can take preventive measures to lower your risk of lung cancer. Try making some lifestyle changes such as reduce the exposure of radon gas, avoid passive smoking and use air purifiers at home to lower the concentration of harmful substances in the air. A healthy diet also protects you again lung cancer.

Also, read about the symptoms of lung cancer.

And if, unfortunately, you or any of your acquaintance gets diagnosed with lung cancer, immediately consult the doctor and get the best lung cancer treatment. We, at Max, offer world-class care to patients suffering from lung cancer with the help of renowned cancer specialists and high-end medical technology. We also have a Cancer Daycare Centre at Lajpat Nagar wholly devoted to the needs of the cancer patients.

Check out - Thoracic Cancer Treatment in Delhi, India