Bangalore: Passive smoking is as much a cause of lung cancer as active smoking. So is prolonged exposure to industrial gases and other forms of air pollution.


While there is no evidence to show that the citys climate is directly a cause for lung cancer, a study by the National Cancer Registry Programme has indicated that there is recognizable incidence of lung cancer in the city: about 10.7 in every one lakh males and 3.9 in every one lakh females. Nationally, the corresponding figures are 10.9 men and 2.5 women.

‘‘Till 1982-83, lung cancer did not figure in the list of the first 10 leading causes of death. Today, it ranks third or fourth in our country and world,’’.

Lung cancer is said to be most common form of cancer, after cervical and breast cancer in India.

Lung cancer ‘‘is on the rise among women in India. If we compare a man and a woman both smoking about 7-10 cigarettes a day, a woman has a higher risk of getting lung cancer than a man.’’

Apart from causes, low levels of awareness and late diagnosis explains why people fall victim to lung cancer in India. ‘‘Also, lung cancer symptoms like persistent cough are similar to that of TB. Many a time in rural areas, doctors first treat such patients for TB and by the time they realise that its lung cancer, it would be in advanced stage. It is necessary for a patient to undergo a lung cancer test when he/she is being treated for TB,’’

Early diagnosis plays an important role in increasing the chances of survival for lung cancer patients.


Tertiary smoking (smoking in your bedroom or office cabin which is often visited by family members and colleagues) can end up showing lung cancer symptoms in your near and dear ones. ‘‘In case of tertiary smoking, smoke collects in the area where a person is smoking. Tertiary smoking can also cause lung cancer in children, although it’s not very common in India,