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ung cancer and its lesser known risk factors

ung cancer and its lesser known risk factors

Lung cancer and its lesser known risk factors

Is smoking, vaping, other tobacco use, or secondhand smoke. It is well known and well-researched that the carcinogens in cigarettes, especially filtered cigarettes, can lead to the growth of cancerous cells in the lung and bronchi. Interestingly, length of exposure is a more important factor in lung cancer risk than how long ago a former smoker quit - someone who smoked for 30 years and quit 30 years ago is more likely to develop lung cancer than someone who still smokes but has only smoked for 5 years or someone who quit within the last 15 years but smoked for 20. And yet only the latter two individuals will be eligible for the low-dose CT lung cancer screening pursuant to CMS guidelines.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD is a fairly general term meant to broadly encompass many of the chronic lung diseases and disorders such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and even asthma. Unfortunately, studies have shown that a COPD diagnosis - even a self-reported one and not a medically recorded diagnosis - is associated with a lung cancer mortality rate 2.3 times higher than seen in patients without a pulmonary disease. This suggests that not only are those with COPD more likely to develop lung cancer, their outcomes are statistically

worse. Interestingly, many studies regarding risk and incidence of COPD include a fairly significant number of patients who have never smoked or used tobacco, ultimately suggesting that there are at least 15,000 adults in the USA alone that are at an increased risk of COPD - and therefore lung cancer - despite having never smoked; this number still ignores those who develop asthma as children or those diagnosed with COPD after age 65

Coenzyme Q10 Serum Levels

CoQ10 is an enzyme produced naturally in the body, an antioxidant used by the cells for growth and maintenance. Levels decrease as we age, and lower blood serum levels have been found in those with diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. While it is true that this enzyme is meant for cell growth, it really only works on healthy cells, particularly those involved with heart and brain function. Some studies have found that CoQ10 supplementation helped with tumor regression in cancer patients, as the CoQ10 killed the cancerous cells and promoted the regrowth of healthy cellDiabetes

Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of developing lung cancer, especially among women. This significantly increased risk has not been significantly demonstrated among men, but was still present even when studies adjusted for smoking status.s

There are many ways to treat and manage diabetes, ranging from diet control and weight loss to medication usage and insulin injections. Unfortunately, insulin - used to regulate blood sugar in diabetics, is also a hormone that encourages cell growth. Any growth hormones can speed along and encourage the growth of any new malignancies in the body. Thus, a diabetic patient with an exposure to a carcinogenic agent, or a family history of lung cancer, or a simple mutation in one cell, may unknowingly feed the growing cancer with insulin.

Diabetic patients, particularly female patients and those who use insulin, with a family history or cancer, a personal history of any other type of cancer, known exposure to radiation, asbestos, secondhand smoke, or other carcinogenic agents, should ask their doctor about screening for lung cancer.

Heart Disease

Cohort studies conducted on patients with and without cardiovascular diseases have shown that patients with vascular, hypertensive (high blood pressure), and heart diseases had a 67% higher risk of developing lung cancer than those without. This increase also carried over to mortality, with heart disease patients having a 95% increased mortality rate over lung cancer patients without heart disease. Finally, the increased risk was more prevalent among patients over the age of 40 than those younger than 40.

It is important to note that these studies have long follow up time frames - patients in one study were followed for 42 years, allowing researchers to truly ascertain how many of them would develop lung cancer, even if they began the study when a heart disease patient was in their 20s or 30s! Unfortunately, lung cancer plays a long game, which is why lifestyle choices and health care in adolescence and early adulthood are so important with regards to ultimate risk.