Smoke & Lung Cancer


Smoking poses risk on suffering from lung cancer. According to Hong Kong Cancer Fund, approximately one out of ten smokers is diagnosed with lung cancer. However, non-smokers also have possibility to develop lung cancer. Some foreign studies reported that 10%-15% patients of lung cancer were non-smokers and mostly female. 


Risk Factors

Apart from smoking, other risk factors of lung cancer are:

  1. Air pullution
  2. Long-term contact with cooking fumes
  3. Always ingest grilled and pickled food
  4. Long-term contact with fumes produced by joss sticks and candles 


International Agency for Research on Cancer(IARC) classified air pollutants as group I carcinogens in 2010. Around 223,000 death cases of lung cancer sufferers in 2010 were proved to be related to air pollution. Apart from air pollution, cooking fumes were categoried into group IIA carcinogens and were more dangerous than Malachite Green. Long-term contact with cooking fumes will increase the risk of getting lung cancer. CUHK research reported that the risk of having lung cancer increased by 1-2 times when inhaled cooking fumes produced by making 3,650 dishes. The fact that overcooking of cooking oil can release carcinogens cannot be denied.


Symptoms and Survival Rate

Symptoms of lung cancer include blood-tinged sputum, chest pain or upper back pain and dry cough. If the above symptoms persist, lung cancer may attain a serious stage. However, since no obvious symptoms are present in early lung cancer, only around 10% people can discover lung cancer at the early stage. Survival rate of stage 1 lung caner patients can achieve 80% after treatment while stage 2 and 3 drops down to 40%-60% and stage 4 drops down to less than 20%.


Therefore, if you are high risk people(such as housewife, chief and outdoor worker) or symptoms of lung caner are present, regular body check is strongly suggested. Early diagnosis implies higher survival rate.