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Why is the impact of Lung Cancer important to people in alberta?

Lung cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in Alberta.1
About 2,085 adults were diagnosed in 2015.2

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Alberta. In 2016, about 1,560 people died from lung cancer. That’s more than the number of people who died from breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers combined.6
  • Slightly more women than men were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015.1
  • In Alberta, the rate of new lung cancer cases has decreased from 71 cases per 100,000 people in 1996 to 61 cases per 100,000 people in 2016.1,2
  • The risk of lung cancer rises quickly after age 40 for men and women. After the age of 65, the rate for women is lower than for men.1

What can I do?

Experts agree that together, we can prevent about 83 out of every 100 cases of lung cancer in Alberta.2 Here’s how:

Tobacco smoking is linked to about 71% of new lung cancer cases in Alberta.7 

Tobacco has cancer-causing toxins (called carcinogens) that damage lung cells. Over time, the damaged cells can turn into cancer. You can lower your risk for lung cancer when you quit using tobacco or cut down.

Not being active enough is linked to about 12% of new lung cancer cases in Alberta.8 

Not eating enough vegetables and fruits is linked to about 16% of new lung cancer cases in Alberta.9 

To achieve health benefits, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends that adults accumulate 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity per week.3

Being exposed to residential radon gas is linked to about 9% of new lung cancer cases in Alberta.10

Radon is a radioactive gas found in the environment that is produced by the decay of uranium that is found in soil, rocks or water. Radon is found in all buildings in contact with the ground. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radon as a cause of lung cancer. Residential radon exposure is linked to about 9% of new lung cancer cases in Alberta.4 More detailed information about radon and how Canadians can reduce their exposure is available through Health Canada.

More information on lung cancer symptoms, diagnosis and treatment at MyHealth Alberta.

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