Lung Cancer: Can Particulate Air Matter Pollution Increase Risk? Yes.

pollution Mexico City hazy

We might have to add air pollution, even at current concentrations, to the list of causes of lung cancer and recognize that air pollution has large effects on public health.

Takashi Yorifuji, MD and Saori Kashima, PhD

Exposure to particulate matter air pollution was associated with  lung cancer incidence, according to a prospective analysis of data from 17 European cohort studies. There was no link between lung cancer and nitrogen oxide, nor with traffic intensity on the nearest street. The risk increased by a factor of 1.55 for lung adenocarcinoma when the particulate matter concentration was less than 2.5 mL.

My Take: The study is not perfect. For example, data for previous lung cancer were not obtained. Still, more evidence suggestive of a pollution: lung cancer connection.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

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References: Nielsen OR. Lancet Oncology 2013;doi:10.1016/51470-2045(13)702279-1; Yorifuji T. Lancet Oncology 2013;doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70302-4.

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understandcancerin60minutes

Harvard AB Yale MD UPenn Radiation Oncology Radiation Oncologist, Seattle area

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