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Tobacco Is Usually the Cause of Lung Cancer, but Not Always.


Tobacco is usually the cause of lung cancer. Death of an American newsman, Peter Jennings, has increased interest in the disease and how to prevent it. Peter Jennings was sixty-seven years old when he died of lung cancer in early August.


Since his death, many people have questions about lung cancer and how to prevent it. Most lung cancer deaths are caused by tobacco use. Peter Jennings smoked cigarettes for many years. But smokers are not the only one at risk. So are people who breathe tobacco smoke in the air. Radon gas in the environment, particles of fire-resistant material asbestos and air pollution also increase the risk.

More people dies of lung cancer than any other from of cancer. Each year, more than one million die of the disease. Once it is found, more than ninety percent of patients are dead within two years. People often do not show signs until the cancer has spread to the brain, liver or bones. Then it is usually too late to cure. Signs of lung cancer include a cough that gets worse and pain in the chest area. People may cough up blood and lose their normal voice. Weight loss and feeling tired are two other signs.

The American Cancer Society says lung cancer is most often found when people reach their seventies. It is generally rare in people under the age of forty. Lung cancer is most common among smokers. Non-smokers, however, are more likely to have a kind of lung cancer that is linked to genetics. Experts say new drugs offer better treatment for this form of lung cancer.


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