Cancers of the lung, head and neck on the rise: Perspectives on the genotoxicity of air pollution

Ian Chi Kei Wong, Yuen Keng Ng, Vivian Wai Yan Lui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Outdoor air pollution has been recently classified as a class I human carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO). Cumulative evidence from across the globe shows that polluted air is associated with increased risk of lung, head and neck, and nasopharyngeal cancers—all of which affect the upper aerodigestive tract. Importantly, these cancers have been previously linked to smoking. In this article, we review epidemiologic and experimental evidence of the genotoxic and mutagenic effects of air pollution on DNA, purportedly a key mechanism for cancer development. The alarming increase in cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract in Asia suggests a need to focus government efforts and research on reducing air pollution, promoting clean energy, and investigating the carcinogenic effects of air pollution on humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-480
Number of pages5
JournalChinese Journal of Cancer
Volume33
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Mutagenic effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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