The American Cancer Society estimates that 87 percent of lung cancer cases are related to smoking. However, a small percentage of people who get lung cancer do not have a history of smoking or being around secondhand smoke. So, not all smokers get lung cancer and not all lung cancer patients were smokers.
Lung cancer is difficult to find in its early stages. To date, there is no standard screening process to find early stage lung cancer. Current available detection tests—chest x-rays and sputum tests—are not always accurate in finding early lung cancer.
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