Locate Us

Three misconceptions about lung cancer

Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lungs which cause tumours to form and block healthy lung tissues. Lung cancer can also spread to lymph nodes or other tissues in the chest and other organs.

Here are three misconceptions about lung cancer:

1. Only smokers get lung cancers
Cigarette smoking is the top risk factor for lung cancer. However, non-smokers can also contract lung cancer as they may be exposed to other risk factors, such as inhaling second-hand smoke, coming into contact with cancer-causing chemicals or having a family history that predisposes one to be at risk.


2. Lung cancer affects people who cough frequently
Contrary to popular belief, there are often no symptoms of lung cancer during its early stages. It is best to check in with a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • General fatigue, tiredness, unexplainable weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Persistent coughs that worsen over time
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing or hoarseness
  • Recurring chest infection, pain and fever
  • Other symptoms such as swollen liver, paleness and swelling of lymph nodes


3. Lung cancer only affects older people

While lung cancer is more common in older people, it can also occur to young people, and even children.


When lung cancer is diagnosed in the early stages, there is a higher chance of survival. The most effective method to reduce the risk of getting lung cancer is to avoid smoking. To learn more about lung cancer and the harmful effects of smoking, visit


This article was brought to you by the Singapore Cancer Society.