Asthma and risk of lung cancer

Clin Transl Oncol. 2011 Oct;13(10):728-30. doi: 10.1007/s12094-011-0723-9.


Asthma is a very common chronic disease that occurs in all age groups. Its high prevalence has significant health costs, which are even higher in the most severe disease forms. Lung cancer has the highest incidence of all cancers in the developed world and is an important cause of mortality. Patients with lung cancer are a big economic burden on health services, both in direct and indirect costs. Different authors suggest that atopic constitution, including different manifestations of allergy and asthma, are possible risk factors for lung cancer, above all in never-smokers. Given the high asthma prevalence and lung cancer incidence and mortality in developed countries, this association would have important public health implications. Uncertainties about the association and the underlying physiopathological mechanisms, however, seem to require further studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Risk Factors