Methodist in the Media

Lung Cancer Is Most Prevalent Cancer in Southwest Iowa, Nation

Published: Sept. 7, 2022

Everyone knows that smoking cigarettes can lead to lung cancer, but tobacco is far from the only cause — 20% of people who die from lung cancer each year have never smoked or used tobacco in any form, according to the American Cancer Society.

So what is causing lung cancer, aside from smoking? A lot of things, it turns out.

“In southwest Iowa, particularly, as well as, I think, some of the rural towns outside of Omaha and around Omaha, there are lots of organic dust and occupational related exposure, and organic dusts really have been linked to lung cancer and can work synergistically with tobacco use,” Mukherjee added.

Farmers and people who live in more rural areas come into contact more often with certain organic materials, from hogs or cattle or plants, and these particles, if inhaled, and especially combined with smoking, increase the risk of getting lung cancer.

Exposure to certain kinds of metals or gasses, such as arsenic and radon, can also increase the likelihood of a lung cancer diagnosis.

The Daily Nonpareil: Lung cancer most prevalent cancer in southwest Iowa, nation