(Natural News) Many people believe that the 1.6 million people who die of lung cancer each and every year are just older citizens that have been smoking heavily for years. The truth is, however, that that couldn’t be more wrong.
According to a new Norwegian-Greek study published in the Lancet-affiliated EBioMedicine Journal, those who are young and haven’t smoked very much are still at risk of developing lung cancer at some point in their lives. This finding has put even more emphasis on the importance of educating the public about risk factors, of which there are seven: increasing age, pack-years (which refers to how many years one has smoked twenty cigarettes on a daily basis), how many cigarettes are smoked daily, how long it’s been since one has quit smoking, one’s body mass index (BMI), periodical daily cough, and how many hours each day one is exposed to smoke while indoors.
The first five on that list are risk factors that have been well documented over the years, and the last two are both relatively new factors that have recently been added.
The researchers in the Norwegian-Greek study used these seven factors to see if they could accurately predict the development of lung cancer in a total of 45,000 individuals. After analyzing completed questionnaires provided to them by the participants, the researchers were ultimately able to predict who would develop lung cancer first with nearly 88 percent accuracy, which is a significant development for the medical field as a whole.
“This method can reduce the number of people expose to radiation from unnecessary CT scans, and maximize identification of persons with true risk,” explained Oluf Dimitri Røe, a senior oncologist at the Department of Oncology, Levanger Hospital in Trøndelag county and associate professor at NTNU’s Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine. “It is also the first model that can accurately predict lung cancer in light smokers, younger people, and people who quit smoking many years before.”
Additional risk factors
As Natural News has pointed out in the past, another factor that can be used to determine the likelihood that somebody will develop lung cancer is the excessive consumption of processed food. Back in 2008, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine published a study which found that diets that mostly consist of inorganic phosphates (which are commonly found in processed meats, cheeses, beverages and bakery products) may spur the growth of lung cancer. (Related: Research indicates that late stage lung cancer is more prevalent among the middle-aged than the elderly.)
“Our results clearly demonstrated that the diet higher in inorganic phosphates caused an increase in the size of the tumors and stimulated growth of the tumors,” explained Myung-Haing Cho, D.V.M., Ph. D. “Our study indicates that increased intake of inorganic phosphates strongly stimulates lung cancer development in mice, and suggests that dietary regulation of inorganic phosphates may be critical for lung cancer treatment as well as prevention.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has stated in the past that lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Furthermore, the American Thoracic Society notes that more than 75 percent of lung cancers are non-small cell lunch cancers (NSCLC) and have an average five-year survival rate of roughly 14 percent. Based on these statistics alone, it is obvious why there is such a large sense of urgency among the science and medical community to both find cures and identify additional risk factors. While researchers both in the United States and abroad continue to learn more about this terrible disease, action should be taken on an individual level as well to minimize the risks and ultimately create the necessary conditions for long, healthy lives.