Lung Cancer Causes, Risk Factors and Prevention

What Causes Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is caused by several different risk factors, but smoking continues to be the leading cause. Read on to learn more about other risk factors and tips to prevent lung cancer.


According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths are associated with smoking cigarettes. If you’re ready to quit smoking, learn more from Banner Health about going tobacco free.

Family History:

Has anyone in your family ever been diagnosed with lung cancer? Ensure you are aware of family history to take the necessary steps to get ahead of a potential diagnosis.

Other Risk Factors to Consider:

While smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer, there are additional risks that may also cause lung cancer:

  • Air pollution
  • Lung diseases
  • Exposure to chemicals or materials such as asbestos or radiation
  • Previous lung cancer
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Radon exposure
  • Family history of lung cancer
  • Infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

How to Prevent and Reduce the Risk of Lung Cancer

While you cannot completely prevent lung cancer, there are ways to reduce your risk. Since smoking is the main risk factor associated with lung cancer, educate friends and family about the danger of tobacco, and, if possible, do not start smoking. If you are a smoker, consider smoking less or stopping completely to lower your risk of lung cancer.  Studies show that if you quit smoking for over 10 years, you can reduce your risk of lung cancer by half of a current smoker.

Tips for Reducing Your Risk for Lung Cancer

If you believe you are at risk for lung cancer, consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor. Follow these tips to help reduce your risk for lung cancer:

  • If possible, avoid secondhand smoke
  • Quit smoking or decrease the amount you smoke
  • Eat balanced meals
  • Exercise a few days a week
  • Avoid carcinogens wherever possible

In addition to reducing your risk, consider getting a screening for lung cancer especially if there is history of lung cancer in your family. Early detection is critical for surviving lung cancer.

Rely on the lung cancer experts from Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center to educate you and your loved ones on lung cancer prevention and treatment.