A recent study has shown that people who live in lowlands have a much greater risk to get lung cancer than those who live in the mountains.
Besides smoking, smog, genetics or the working life spent in a mine, one of the reasons why people in certain areas more common acquire lung cancer is believe it or not – the air that they breathe!
The reason lies in the consistency of the air in the lowlands. It is thicker and richer in oxygen, which may sound like a good thing, but it is exactly the opposite. Our body uses oxygen in the process of digestion or, more precisely, in the transformation of food into energy. This metabolic process is called oxidation. Oxidation releases free radicals that can further damage the DNA and cause cell mutation, eventually leading to cancer. Since lungs are the first organs affected by oxygen, they are most likely to develop cancer.
Moving to a higher altitude above the sea level where the air is thinner and is not polluted can reduce the risk, because then the lungs spread and work much better on fresh air.
An American study has shown that on every 100 meters of attitude above sea level, the risk of lung cancer development decreases multiple times.