Deaths from lung cancer are reportedly set to double among those who have never smoked, with pollution cited as a possible cause.
If the trend continues, this mortality rate will take over from smoking-related cancer deaths in ten years, according to The Times.
Previously, smoking-related cancer was by far the greatest factor, believed to cause around nine out of ten cases.
However, a new study by the Royal Brompton Hospital and Harefield NHS Trust in London reveals a significant increase in the amount of operations on non-smokers, the newspaper reported.
It said Cancer Research UK estimates that pollution accounts for 3,500 cases of lung cancer each year.
The Royal Brompton group plans to launch the first clinical trials of a “liquid biopsy” blood test in 2018, which aims to catch fragments of DNA shed by lung cancer months or even years before the appearance of serious symptoms.
Other studies have not found a similar pattern. Stephen Spiro, a former head of respiratory…