Cochise Oncology

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What Causes Lung Cancer?

Nobody can say for certain what causes each individual patient’s case of lung cancer. However, we can look at data and determine which factors are most likely to lead to the development of the disease. 

Both lifestyle and aging itself appear to play a role. 

Lung Cancer Sierra Vista


Smoking is the leading environmental cause of lung cancer and believed to be responsible for around 80 percent of cases. Both direct inhalation of smoke and second-hand smoking are known risk factors for the development of the disease.

The actual role of smoking, however, is blurred by the fact that many smokers also have other lifestyle characteristics that put them at higher risk of lung cancer. 

What’s more, not all smokers get lung cancer. Whether a patient does or not depends heavily on their genetics, age, and other lifestyle factors. 

Non-Smoking Related Causes

There are multiple non-smoking-related causes of lung cancer. These include: 

Hazardous Chemicals 

Many patients have a high lifetime exposure to asbestos and radon – both of which are cancer-causing substances. 

Asbestos is a material that builders used in the past to insulate buildings. Radon is a radioactive substance found in high concentrations underground. 

Both these chemicals may aggravate – or add to – the damage already done by smoking. 

You don’t even have to smoke to get lung cancer. Just breathing in somebody else’s fumes over a long period can lead to the development of the disease. 


Genetics may also play a role in lung cancer development. Scientists think that gene changes in lung cell DNA can lead to abnormal cell growth and the development of tumors. Interestingly, genetic lung cancers are often different from those that develop from smoking.


Air pollution is also a risk factor. Diesel exhaust fumes, for instance, can lead to lung cancers in people who don’t smoke (and who aren’t exposed to second-hand smoke). 


Simply fill out the form on this page to request an appointment and one of our knowledgable team members will reach out to you. Or call our Sierra Vista oncology center to schedule directly at (520) 803-6644.

Signs of Lung Cancer

At Cochise Oncology, we identify several signs of lung cancer. 

Difficulty breathing is one such sign. You feel as if you cannot get enough air into your body, which, in turn, may also make you feel dizzy. 

Another sign is a cough that doesn’t go away after two to three weeks and continues to get worse. 

When you cough, you may notice blood in your sputum. You may also have an ache or pain in your chest plus a persistent lack of energy. Chest infections should not return repeatedly, but they can do in patients with lung cancer. 

When to Seek an Oncologist for Possible Lung Cancer

If you have breathing problems, getting to the bottom of them quickly is essential. 

At Cochise Oncology, we provide all the diagnostic expertise you need to find out whether you have lung cancer and the type of treatment you need. You may not have cancer, but it is critical that you find out now so that treatment can begin quickly.


*Individual Results May Vary


At Cochise Oncology, we know optimal cancer treatment places the patient first – and our patients experience this every day. Read what our satisfied patients are saying about their experiences at Cochise Oncology.

Take the Next Step

Are you ready to learn more about lung cancer? Reach out to Cochise Oncology at (520) 803-6644 or fill out the consultation form on this page. We look forward to meeting you!

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