Lung cancer is one of the most common and most difficult types of cancer. Although smoking is by far the major cause, accounting for nearly 86% of lung cancer cases, there are other contributing factors as well. These include:
- Exposure to radon gas,
- Exposure to certain chemicals,
- Air pollution,
- Previous lung disease,
- A family history of lung cancer,
- Past cancer treatment,
- Previous smoking related cancers,
- Lowered immunity, and last, but not least,
- Passive smoking (breathing in other people’s cigarette smoke).
The reasons came down to one thing – the air we breathe. Namely, in the lowlands the air is dense, which means it has a higher content of oxygen. Although oxygen is beneficial most of the time, there are cases when it can do more harm than good. During digestion, the body uses oxygen to turn food into energy, a metabolic process called oxidation. This process damages cell membranes and other structures including cellular proteins, lipids and DNA because when oxygen is metabolized, it creates ‘free radicals’ which steal electrons from other molecules, causing damage. An overload of free radicals can trigger the onset of many diseases, including heart and liver disease and some cancers.
The best thing you can do is consider moving to a higher altitude. Mountain air is your best option because it’s thin and your lungs spread more while you breathe it in. Most importantly, you inhale less of the dangerous oxygen, and thus you reduce your risk of developing lung cancer.