Researchers from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom reviewed data collected from lung cancer patients between 2000 and 2009. Although they found a significant link between COPD and lung cancer, they attributed this association to smoking, a shared risk factor for both diseases. The link between lung cancer and COPD was also found to be most apparent in recently diagnosed cases of COPD.
Results of the study concluded that there is "an extremely strong unadjusted relationship between both COPD and pneumonia and lung cancer in the 6 months immediately before lung cancer diagnosis." In light of these findings, health care practitioners are encouraged to consider a diagnosis of lung cancer when making new diagnoses of COPD or pneumonia. Additionally, a chest x-ray looking for evidence of lung cancer is recommended for all patients at the time of their initial COPD diagnosis.
To learn more about lung cancer, visit About.com's Lung Cancer Guide Site.