Cancer, is word which as a diagnosis can turn any one’s life upside down. Unfortunately, this dreaded disease is becoming more and more rampant.

As per 2018 WHO data  an estimated 9.6 million deaths occur due to cancer globally. Approximately 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries. Cancer in one of the top five causes of mortality. Among all causes, Lung cancer is the commonest of all as well it is one of the most fatal one. Surprisingly, the incidence is rising among non-smoker and female population. Not only lung cancer, cancer of breast, colo-rectum , stomach, liver and prostate are also rising . Despite of  strict regulations on tobacco use and trades, cancer especially lung cancer is rising. Environmental pollution is one of the most vital cause leading to rise in various respiratory diseases including Cancer.

Ambient air pollution is new age monster, claiming a large number of human lives. Air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year. WHO data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air which would be graded as polluted as per air qulity standards. Majority of the affected are from third world countries and most poor of the people. Air pollution is responsible for nasal allergies, burning eyes, worsening of asthma, COPD, Coronary artery disease, Brain strokes, Stress, traffic accidents secondary to poor visibility and cancers. Most drastically the children have higher health risk due to pollution. Even Foetus inside the womb is not safe from pollution and PM2.5 or PM1 can cross placental barrier and lead to growth retardation. Not only lung cancer but various other cancer have been linked to pollution exposure  like breast, colon, pancreas and liver. (American association of cancer research )  A study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that there is enough evidence to say that outdoor air pollution can cause cancer in people. This report also specifically implicated PM2.5

Apart from Particulate matter (PM10, 2.5, and PM1) various oxides and aromatic fumes are also carcinogenic. Air pollution contains several mutagens and carcinogens, including PAHs (eg, benzo[a]pyrene and polar compounds),dioxins, sulphur‐containing compounds (SO3, H2SO4), and 3‐nitrobenzanthrone. These Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can alter the host DNA , overwhelming the repair capacity. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of chemicals that occur naturally in coal, crude oil, and gasoline. They also are produced when coal, oil, gas, wood, garbage, and tobacco are burned. Tobacco and nicotine are very highly associated with cancer. Even second-hand smoking has contributed to development of asthma, worsening COPD, and various cancers.

Ambient air pollution is modifiable risk factor for cancer. This is also compounded by indoor pollution attributed by bio-fuel, cooking, wood burning, poor ventilation, cleaning chemicals and aerosols.  It sounds like  for all the development and industrialization we are paying a huge price by compromising with air quality and  our health. Medical advancement has given umpteenth drugs/chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgeries to effectively manage the cancer menace and that’s the only ray of hope for people suffering from cancers. However, if we combat collectively against ambient pollution, we may be able to curtail on incidence of cancer and so many other diseases which are on the rise and claiming human lives and happiness.  Its high time to think and act. Fight cancer fight pollution

One fight , hundred gains. If we can abolish pollution can definitively control Cancer, COPD,IHD, Stroke, and human suffering.