Srinagar, Aug 01: On world lung cancer day, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Tuesday said lung cancer cases are on rise among people who have never smoked because of increasing exposure to toxic air.
“Poor air quality is behind spike in lung cancer cases among non-smokers,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
Dr Hassan said evidence has shown that polluted air is associated with increased risk of lung cancer which is the most prominent cancer in Kashmir.
A new ground breaking study conducted at Francis Crick Institute and University College London has revealed that poor air quality can increase the odds of lung cancer in individuals who do not smoke.
“Researchers have found that increased exposure to fine particles – typically seen in vehicle exhaust and smoke from fossil fuels trigger inflammation which causes cancerous state in lung cells,” he said.
The DAK President said the air quality in Kashmir has been constantly deteriorating for the past few years due to the increasing number of vehicles, constructions, brick klins, cement and other factories which emit pollutants and significantly pollute the air.
“And this is contributing to enormous burden of lung cancer in the valley,” he said.
Dr Nisar said while smoking continues to be an important risk for lung cancer, in Kashmir many people who have never smoked are diagnosed with lung cancer and air pollution is a big factor.
“It is a wakeup call about the damaging impact of air pollution on human health. We cannot ignore climate health. If we want to address human health, we have to address climate health, he said.
“There is an urgent need to control air pollution to reduce the burden of lung cancer in the community and save precious human lives,” he added.