Can air pollution cause lung cancer? is one of the often talked about topics and suitable topics to concern with raising air pollution around the world?
We all know in a daily basis all over the world there are thousands of tons of air pollutants released into our atmosphere leading to several types of medical conditions throughout every living being on earth.
This article mainly tries to develop a conversation to identify the connection between air pollution and lung cancer, as well as what we can do about it.
Table of Contents
What is Air Pollution?
Air pollution is the presence of hazardous compounds in the atmosphere. These substances may consist of gases, particles, and biological molecules.
Air pollution is an obvious fact caused by the contribution of both man and nature in a number of ways.
Wildfires, dust storms, and volcanic activity are natural causes. Industrial emissions, vehicle emissions, and household chemicals are examples of sources that are anthropogenic.
Can Air Pollution Cause Lung Cancer?
Air pollution is one of the key reasons leading to lung cancer around the world and most upcoming respiratory medical conditions. According to WHO reports, air pollution is one of the main reasons behind the deaths caused by lung cancer.
Although smoking is a key fact behind lung cancer, lately with the development of industrial emissions air pollution contribution is sightly raising and trying to pass the records.
Air pollution can harm lung cells’ DNA, resulting in mutations that can eventually lead to cancer.
Most of the time, air pollutant particles can easily damage your inner airways and lead to lung cancers with time.
Is Lung Cancer Serious?
Lung cancer is a dangerous disease if not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. Lung cancer is, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the biggest cause of cancer-related deaths globally.
It was projected that there will be 1,8 million new cases of lung cancer and 1,6 million fatalities worldwide in 2020. Lung cancer is the most frequently diagnosed malignancy in men and women alike.
What Are the Symptoms of Lung Cancer?
Symptoms of lung cancer might vary depending on the disease’s stage. In the early stages, there may be no noticeable symptoms. When cancer progresses, the subsequent symptoms may manifest:
- A persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
Who is at the Most Risk of Lung Cancer from Air Pollution?
Now we all know air pollution has a serious relationship with lung cancer. But when we concern overall, several communities suffer more seriously compare with others.
For example, if you are living in higher air pollution existing locations like near traffic roads, high industrial emission areas, or smoking premises, there sort of higher chance of getting lung cancer compared with others in society.
Also, communities like children who have lower development in their respiratory system, elderly community, or people who are suffering from a number of medical problems have a higher chance of getting lung cancer when there is often air pollution exposure.
Are there Other Reasons Behind Lung Cancer?
Although air pollution is one of the primary reasons behind lung cancer there are other major reasons that lead to that on a more serious level.
For example, the majority of lung cancers we often notice in our life caused by cigarette smoking as a habit.
Exposure to radon, asbestos, and other chemicals and substances is an additional risk factor.
How Can We Reduce My Risk of Lung Cancer from Air Pollution?
There are numerous ways to minimize your chance of developing lung cancer due to air pollution:
- Avoid outdoor exercise during times of high air pollution
- Use public transportation, carpool, or walk/bike instead of driving alone
- Use energy-efficient appliances and products to reduce energy consumption and air pollution
- Avoid using fireplaces or wood-burning stoves
- Support policies that reduce air pollution, such as clean energy initiatives and regulations on vehicle emissions
Can air pollution induce non-smokers to develop lung cancer?
Indeed, air pollution causes lung cancer in both smokers and nonsmokers.
Can air pollution trigger additional forms of cancer?
Certainly, various forms of cancer, including bladder cancer, breast cancer, and leukemia, have been associated with air pollution.
How can I tell if the air quality is poor in my area?
You can examine the air quality index (AQI) in your neighborhood, a measurement of air pollution. The AQI is frequently included in local weather predictions and is also available online.
Can air purifiers reduce the chance of developing lung cancer due to air pollution?
An air purifier is a viable solution to clean your surrounding atmosphere and keep you away from a number of respiratory medical conditions at your home, office, workplace even in your car.
If you are running an air purifier all the time, compared with a normal person in day-to-day life, your respiratory system is more protected from most allergens and air pollutants.
Is there any possibility of getting lung cancer, if I already have lung conditions?
If you already have respiratory problems like asthma or issues in your airways, there is a chance of getting lung issues when you are exposed to air pollution.
But practically, that condition can be controlled following easy guidelines and several habits which lead you to keep your surrounding air quality clean.
Does it take a long period to get lung cancer, after I am exposed to air pollution?
Lung cancer can occur after many years of exposure to air pollution. The exact length can vary based on exposure quantity and duration, as well as other risk factors such as smoking.
Air pollution is one of the key reasons leading to lung cancer throughout several age groups.
Although it is impossible to entirely eradicate air pollution, we can all take efforts to limit our exposure and lung cancer risk.
By implementing existing knowledge to ensure the proper air quality in critical areas, and enforcing regulations to control air pollution at the industrial level, we can manage this impact on a large scale. But the best practice is our individual performance.