• Cancer happens when a number of specific genes (oncogenes) are damaged in a single cell. But there are many many ways in which damage can occur. Here are some: gene transcription errors, natural or manmade carcinogeninc compounds from breathed air, from elsewhere in the environment, from food, from benign processes in the body, from radiation (manmade or natural), including that radiation which is due to radioactivity, including that radioactivity from the potassium-40 isotope which occurs in all naturally occuring potassium including the potassium which forms part of our body and is thus unavoidable. So while many factors can increase the likelihood that a cell will become a cancer cell, cancer can occur by sheer bad luck.
  • Since all smokers do not eventually develop lung cancer, it is likely that other factors, such as individual genetic susceptibility, may play a role in the cause of lung cancer. Numerous studies have shown that lung cancer is more likely to occur in both smoking and non-smoking relatives of those who have had lung cancer than in the general population. While researchers have not pinpointed the underlying cause of lung cancer in never smokers, they have identified the following as potential risk factors: secondhand smoke; occupational exposures such as asbestos, chromium, or arsenic; environmental exposures such as domestic radon; indoor pollutants; previous lung disease; dietary factors; family history; and genetic factors.
  • 80% of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking. Lung cancer in non-smokers can be caused by exposure to radon, secondhand smoke, air pollution, or other factors. Workplace exposures to asbestos, diesel exhaust or certain other chemicals can also cause lung cancers in some people who don't smoke. Gene changes are another factor. You can learn more here:

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