Oncology and Cancer Care at St. Luke's Health

Lung Cancer Risk Factors & Symptoms

The leading risk factor for developing lung cancer is a history of smoking. Experts estimate roughly 80 percent of lung cancer deaths are a result of smoking, including cigar smoking and secondhand smoke. Some additional lung cancer risk factors include:

  • Exposure to radon
  • Exposure to asbestos
  • Exposure to other carcinogenic workplace chemicals or minerals
  • Family history of lung cancer

By the time most people with lung cancer have symptoms, the disease is at a more advanced stage. However, some people do develop symptoms with early lung cancer. These can include:

  • Persistent cough
  • Hoarseness
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored phlegm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Persistent and/or recurring bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Wheezing

If you experience any of these symptoms, visit your doctor at St. Luke’s Health. 

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