Occupational and environmental carcinogens in epidemiology of lung cancer in South Indian population
The present epidemiological study assessed smoking and non-smoking lung cancer patients with pesticide and other environmental exposures as additional risk factors. 152 confirmed lung cancer patients were screened and all patients were divided into four different groups based on epidemiological findings, we found increase in lung cancer incidences in the category where smoking habit with exposure to pesticides was highest ((p =0.0006) followed by smoking habit and environmental carcinogens as risk factor. The incidence of lung cancer increased with age where probability was p<0.025 in the age group of 50-70 years. Pesticides and other carcinogenic exposures are added burdens in smokers as tobacco smoke contains several carcinogenic compounds and heavy metal contaminants such as cadmium, which are harmful to the lungs. This is the first report of our findings which recommends the inclusion of pesticide exposure in relation to/or in combination with smoking habits in epidemiological data. Since tobacco smoke contains heavy metals like cadmium - a known carcinogen and prolonged exposure to pesticides increases cancer incidence in smokers and these are modifiable risk factors in lung cancer that can be counseled.