Risk factors for lung cancer worldwide

Jyoti Malhotra, Matteo Malvezzi, Eva Negri, Carlo La Vecchia, Paolo Boffetta

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    434 Scopus citations


    Lung cancer is the most frequent malignant neoplasm in most countries, and the main cancer-related cause of mortality worldwide in both sexes combined. The geographic and temporal patterns of lung cancer incidence, as well as lung cancer mortality, on a population level are chiefly determined by tobacco consumption, the main aetiological factor in lung carcinogenesis. Other factors such as genetic susceptibility, poor diet, occupational exposures and air pollution may act independently or in concert with tobacco smoking in shaping the descriptive epidemiology of lung cancer. Moreover, novel approaches in the classification of lung cancer based on molecular techniques have started to bring new insights to its aetiology, in particular among nonsmokers. Despite the success in delineation of tobacco smoking as the major risk factor for lung cancer, this highly preventable disease remains among the most common and most lethal cancers globally. Future preventive efforts and research need to focus on non-cigarette tobacco smoking products, as well as better understanding of risk factors underlying lung carcinogenesis in never-smokers.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)889-902
    Number of pages14
    JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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