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In deaths from cancer in both men and women, lung cancer is the number one cause. Lung cancer types can be broken down into two broad categories: small cell and non-small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer is less common, as it is almost exclusively found in heavy smokers; it is also the more aggressive of the two kinds. Non-small cell lung cancer encompasses several types of related lung cancers, which includes large cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma. Many different risk factors can predispose one to lung cancer, which will be described below.

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1. Cigarette smoking

90% of lung cancers are directly correlated with tobacco use. Smoking causes cancer of the lung because it directly damages the cells that line it. When exposed to cigarette smoke, lung cells can become abnormal and eventually can become cancerous. The more you smoke, the more damage you create, and the higher the risk is of developing lung cancer. Estimates are that one out of every seven people who smoke two or more packs of cigarettes per day will die of lung cancer.

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