Is lung cancer contagious?

Medically Reviewed by Checkmark Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Sravanthi Sunkaraneni
No, lung cancer is not contagious. It is suggested that cancer cannot spread through direct physical contact or through the air since each person's DNA is distinctive, making it difficult for cancer to survive in another individual. However, there are several important risk factors for cancer development, including genetic predisposition, placental transmission, and chronic diseases like asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and COPD.

No, lung cancer is not contagious. Cancer cells cannot spread from one person to another.. Every cell has an individual’s DNA which cannot survive in another human body. It means cancer cannot spread by touching or breathing the same air as someone who has cancer.

However, there are certain instances when lung cancer may seem contagious, however, it is not.

Chronic inflammatory conditions like asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can increase the risk of lung cancer. Another reason lung cancer seems to be contagious is heredity. A (2017) study shows that ‘approximately 8% of lung cancers are inherited or occur as a result of a genetic predisposition’.

Besides this, lung cancer may also spread during organ transplantation. A (2016) study has shown that the ‘lung transplant candidates are at higher risk for developing lung cancer’. A (2020) study also suggests lung cancer may spread to the foetus during pregnancy. However, this appears to be a rare phenomenon and needs more research to understand the mechanism.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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