Lung cancer cases linked to air quality in China

lung cancer chartA type of lung cancer reported to be increasing in Beijing has been linked to worsening air quality, with an expert warning that the potential health impact could be much greater than the SARS epidemic in 2003.

“The proportion of lung adenocarcinoma cases is increasing,” said Wang Ning, deputy director of the Beijing Office for Cancer Prevention and Control, adding that there has been a drop in the proportion of squamous cell lung cancer cases in the capital.

Adenocarcinoma of the lung is a common histological form of lung cancer that contains certain distinct malignant tissue, while the other type is a form of non-small-cell lung cancer. Medical experts believe that smoking is more likely to cause squamous cell lung cancer, while exposure to air pollution, such as exhaust gases and secondhand smoking, is more likely to cause adenocarcinoma of the lung, Wang said.

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