Environmental exposure and lung cancer among nonsmokers: An example of Taiwanese female lung cancer

Ya Wen Cheng, Huei Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide and in Taiwan. Cigarette smoking is considered to be the most important risk factor, since about 90% of lung cancer can be related to cigarette smoking. Despite the recent decrease of cigarette smoking, lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In Taiwan, only around 50% of lung cancer incidence could be associated with cigarette smoking, particularly less than 10% of Taiwanese women are smokers. Thus, the aetiology of lung cancer for nonsmokers remains unknown. DNA damages including bulky and oxidative damage may be related with mutation of tumor suppressor genes, such as p53 gene. The high DNA adduct levels in female may be associated with frequent exposure to indoor cooking oil fumes (COF) and outdoor heavy air pollution. Oxidative stress induced by COF was also discussed. Different p53 mutation spectra and mutation frequency between genders reflected that different environmental factors may be involved in nonsmoking male and female lung cancer development. Most importantly, our recent report has demonstrated that human papillomavirus (HPV) infection was associated with nonsmoking female lung cancer. Based on our studies with Taiwanese nonsmoking lung cancer as the model, the possible aetiological factors of lung cancer incidence in Taiwanese nonsmokers were elucidated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part C Environmental Carcinogenesis and Ecotoxicology Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Environmental exposure
  • Lung cancer
  • Nonsmokers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Oncology
  • Toxicology


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