Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the most common cancer in Nunavut. This is related to the high number of Nunavummiut that smoke. Smoking tobacco increases the risk of getting lung cancer.

Lung cancer starts small and almost never causes symptoms at first. If the cancer grows larger, it causes symptoms like coughing up blood, weight loss, and shortness of breath. Treatment for lung cancer is difficult. Routine screening for lung cancer is being researched but it is not yet available.

How to reduce your risk of lung cancer:

  • Reduce or quit smoking. Even if you smoked for a long time, quitting can lower your chances of getting cancer. If you already have lung cancer, quitting makes your treatment work better and can help you live longer. For help, talk to a health care provider, visit, or call the Nunavut Quitline at 1-866-368-7848.
  • Eat a variety of country foods or healthy store-bought foods. You can use the Nunavut Food Guide to help you make healthy eating choices.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Be active every day or most days.
  • If you work with hazardous materials (benzene and other solvents, radon, or asbestos), make sure to follow safety instructions and precautions.
  • For more information about lung cancer and other cancers, talk to a healthcare provider or visit the Lung Cancer page on the Public Health Agency of Canada website.