Cancer Care Program

Comprehensive information about cancer prevention, screening, treatment, and care for Nova Scotians.

The White Ribbon Kit

Information for Lung Cancer Patients and Their Families

This kit provides a variety of information for patients who have been diagnosed with lung cancer and their families.

Paper copies of this kit are available from your respirologist, internist, thoracic surgeon or cancer patient navigator.

 White Ribbon

Nova Scotia Health Authority, 2017.


Risk Factors

There is no single cause of lung cancer, but some factors increase the risk of developing it. Some people can develop lung cancer without any risk factors, while others who have these factors do not get it.

Risk factors for lung cancer include:

  • Smoking tobacco
  • Second-hand smoke
  • Exposure to radon
  • Exposure to asbestos
  • Being exposed at work to substances such as arsenic, chromium and nickel
  • Having had lung cancer before
  • Family history of lung cancer
  • Drinking water that contains high levels of arsenic
  • Previous lung disease
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Indoor burning of coal
  • Outdoor air pollution
  • Weakened immune system
  • Lupus

Some of these risk factors - exposure to asbestos, arsenic, air pollution and other chemicals - are even greater if you're a smoker.

- From Lung Cancer: Understanding Your Diagnosis (Canadian Cancer Society, 2013; Revised November 2016). Accessed August 10, 2017 from Canadian Cancer Society.

Quitting Tobacco

Did you know?

It is never too late to quit using tobacco.

Quitting tobacco use after a cancer diagnosis reduces the risk of infection from surgery, reduces the side-effects from chemotherapy and radiation therapy and improves treatment outcomes.

Help is available.

If you want to quit:

  • Talk to your health care provider.
  • Call 811 to be connected to a tobacco cessation counselor. They can offer help over the phone and also refer you to a quit program in your area. There is no cost and no referral is needed.
  • Visit:

Peer Support

The Canadian Cancer Society offers a free, confidential, telephone-based Peer Support program.

This program connects people living with lung cancer with a lung cancer survivor who is a trained volunteer. The volunteer listens, offers encouragement and shares ideas for coping – all from their unique perspective as someone who’s been there.

Family members can also be connected with volunteers who have cared for a person with lung cancer.

To register:

For more information:

More Info