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Nonsmokers Getting Lung Cancer-Why?

Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, September 09, 2008 11:49 AM EST
Category: On The Road, Major Medical, Protecting Your Family, In The Workplace
Tags: Lung Cancer, Smokers, Cigarettes, Cancer, American Cancer Society, Dangerous Products, Toxic Substances, Defective Products

Nonsmoker lung cancers more prevalent among men, study finds.



 IMAGE SOURCE:  ©iStockphoto/ lung shaped ash tray/ author: dem 10


In the U.S. 16,000 to 24,000 people who never smoked die from lung cancer.

It has perplexed researchers who suspect that genetic susceptibility may be one factor along with exposure to polluted air, asbestos, radon, solvents and second hand smoke.

Factors other than cigarette smoking accounts for 10 to 15 percent of lung cancer deaths in the U.S.

Now a new study of 2.4 million nonsmokers who contracted lung cancer provides a new look at the issue.

Participants came from the U.S. Asia and Europe and the data was collected by epidemiologists for the American Cancer Society.

They conclude that male nonsmokers are more at risk of dying than females. The overall risk to nonsmokers is not increasing.  The study counters those two misperceptions says Dr. Michael J. Thun, the lead author.

Among the findings:

  • 59 percent of Americans say they never smoked up from 44 percent in 1960
  • Asians living in Asia and African-Americans had the highest rates of illness and death from lung cancer compared to European descent participants
  • High rates of lung cancer were found among nonsmoking women in the Pacific Rim countries

“A plausible hypothesis is that the cooking fumes given off by woks contain all kinds of carcinogens,” Dr. Thun told the New York Times pointing to cooking oil which vaporizes a high temperatures.

Smoking increased a person’s risk factor for dying of lung cancer. A man who never smoked has a 1.1 in 100 risk. Smoking jumps the risk to one in five.  In women, the risk for nonsmokers (0.8) jumps to one in eight among smokers.

More than one half-million Americans will die from lung disease in 2008, and more than 1.4 million new cases will be diagnosed.

These analyses were motivated by a workshop sponsored by the Flight Attendants Medical Research Institute (FAMRI), established with a $300 million settlement resulting from a class action lawsuit brought by Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt in October 1991, in Dade County Circuit Court (Miami) against the tobacco industry.

Its mission is to sponsor scientific and medical research for the early detection, prevention, treatment and cure of diseases and medical conditions caused from exposure to second hand tobacco smoke.  #


Anonymous User
Posted by ChrisJ
Tuesday, September 09, 2008 12:43 PM EST

"Smoking increased a person’s risk factor for dying of lung cancer. A man who never smoked has a 1.1 in 100 risk. Smoking jumps the risk to one in five. In women, the risk for nonsmokers (0.8) jumps to one in eight among smokers."

These numbers are so deceptive. The range of data provided showing smokers who have contracted lung cancer runs from 1% to 15%, with a mean of 7%. If the risk factor above was accurate, that number would be 20%.

Good hypothesis about the Wok, guys. I'm sure you are as right about that as you are about your smoking numbers... /sarcasm.

None of you have yet figured out the genomic processes of cancer, nor the specifics of the metastatic and stochatic processes. The fact is, you are still guessing at cause...and for you to make presumptive statements about the why, without even being able to answer the how, is ludicrous.

But hey, blaming it on smoking is popular...so just go with that when all else fails.

Anonymous User
Posted by Rabbitwantsaniphone
Tuesday, September 09, 2008 1:48 PM EST

I agree with you ChrisJ. Blaming the smokers seems to me an easy way out.
Hypothetical: If I get lung cancer tomorrow and I'm a high risk smoker, there will be no way to determine if my cancer is actually from smoking or…
from the cleaning solvent fumes I've inhaled all my life,
the Teflon fumes that are emitted from my pots and pans when I cook in,
the exhaust fumes from sitting in grid lock everyday. OK ya, smokers are at a higher risk and it’s their own stupidity that they continue to smoke but I would like to see the data on smokers who have never developed lung cancer. Of all the smokers in the world I would really like to see the numbers on this.

Posted by Dr. Harold Zeliger
Tuesday, September 09, 2008 1:52 PM EST

Reaserach has shown that lung cancer risks increase with increasing exposure to toxic chemical mixtures, even when the individual components of these mixtures are not, by themselves, carcinogenic. These toxic mixtures can come from cigarette smoke (both direct and second hand), burning of wood and other carbonaceous fuels, exposures to smoke of different origins and from breathing polluted air.

The results just reported are consistent with those reported in my research as well as that of other investigators.

Comments for this article are closed.

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