The word "risk" is used quite often when talking about cancer. What does it mean? A risk factor refers to anything that increases the possibility that a person will get a disease like cancer. For example, if you drink after someone with a cold or flu, your chances of getting sick are increased. Risk factors play a part in increasing the likelihood that a person will develop cancer. Certain risk factors increase a person's chances of getting cancer, but do not always cause cancer. Sometimes people with several risk factors do not develop the disease, while others with no known risk factors at all do develop cancer. Smoking increases the risk of developing certain types of cancer. According to the ACS (American Cancer Society), current male smokers have almost a 25% increased risk of developing lung cancer compared to men who have never smoked. It is important to know that understanding risk factors can help you make wise choices and develop good health habits, and change bad ones.
- More "pack-years" increases risk (the number of cigarette packs per day multiplied by the number of years a person smokes)
- Passive smoking increases risk
- Low tar/nicotine cigarettes DO NOT decrease risk
- Quitting lowers risk
Passive Smoking Leads to Increased Risk of Lung Cancer