24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Medical Disorders
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
When Is It Time for a Knee Replacement?AHA News: Death Rates From Tears In This Major Heart Artery Are Rising, Especially Among Women, Black AdultsOmicron COVID Causing Severe Croup in Young Children'Zapping' Air Passages May Bring Relief for Severe AsthmaModerna Asks FDA to Approve Second Booster for All AdultsNew Tick-Borne Virus Is Spreading Across U.S.Memory Issues Plague Long COVID PatientsCOVID Vaccine Won't Cause Rare Neuro Events, But COVID Infection CouldTriglycerides a Stroke Danger, Even With Statin TreatmentIt Can Take Weeks for Some Patients With Severe COVID to Recover ConsciousnessOmicron Wave Had 5 Times as Many Small Kids Hospitalized Compared to DeltaBreathing Dirty Air Could Raise Your Odds for Rheumatoid ArthritisPalliative Care Crucial After Severe Stroke, But Many Patients Miss OutMammograms Can Also Highlight Heart Risks: StudyPfizer Asks FDA to Approve Second Booster for SeniorsEven a Little Light in Your Bedroom Could Harm HealthMental Issues Can Linger More Than a Year After Severe COVIDRise in U.K. COVID Cases Closely Watched by U.S. Health OfficialsLong COVID May Bring Long-Term Lung DamageNew Malaria Treatment Gets First Approval for Use in ChildrenWarming World Means More Cases of Dangerous Low-Salt ConditionAbout 1 in 6 U.S. Couples Disagrees on COVID VaccinationCOVID Meds Appear to Work Against BA.2 Omicron Variant‘Deltacron’ Variant Rare and Not a Major ConcernCould Depression Make Dry Eye Worse?When Will Americans With Diabetes Get Relief From High Insulin Prices?COVID's Global Death Toll May Be 3 Times Official NumbersDrug Could Be Non-Antibiotic Alternative to Treat UTIsFlu Vaccine No Match for Circulating Variants This SeasonLymphedema in Legs Strikes 1 in 3 Female Cancer SurvivorsScience Brings Shortcut to Spotting 50 Rare Genetic DiseasesU.S. Airplane, Train and Transit Mask Mandates Extended to April 18Man Who Received First Pig Heart Transplant Has DiedPfizer Begins Trial of COVID Drug Paxlovid in Kids 6 to 17Could a Stool Test Help Spot Pancreatic Cancer?Upcoming Surgery Worry You? Poll Says You're Not AloneHalf of Americans Live With Legacy of Childhood Lead PoisoningIn Reversal, WHO Now Supports COVID BoostersLooking to Neanderthals to Explain Today's Lower Back PainWhat's More Accurate, Blood Pressure Readings at Home or Doctor's Office?Begin Now to Protect Your Heart as Clocks 'Spring Forward'Brain Changes May Fuel 'Long COVID' Anxiety, ConfusionAHA News: Break Up Binge-Watching by Taking a StandHow COVID-19 Can Change the BrainHeart Defects Could Raise Odds for Severe COVID-196 Healthy Steps to Preventing Colon CancerAHA News: These Three Risk Factors May Have the Biggest Impact on Dementia CasesU.S. Surgeon General Investigates COVID-19 MisinformationLong or Irregular Periods May Put a Woman's Liver at RiskCould Your Blood Type Make COVID Worse?
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics


You Don't Have to Be a Smoker to Get Lung Cancer

HealthDay News
Updated: Jan 15th 2022

new article illustration

SATURDAY, Jan. 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Think you're safe from lung cancer because you've never smoked? Think again.

While cigarette smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, it's possible to get the disease without ever lighting up.

"Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer," said Dr. Missak Haigentz Jr., chief of Thoracic and Head and Neck Medical Oncology at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick.

In fact, a new U.S. National Cancer Institute study estimates 10% of men and 20% of women who develop lung cancer have never used tobacco products. There are three types of lung cancer in nonsmokers, according to the study.

"What we know already is that lung cancers, despite appearing similar under the microscope, may develop differently in never-smokers, and this information on molecular differences has already had a tremendous impact in the way we treat the disease with targeted cancer therapies," Haigentz said in a Rutgers news release.

Lung cancer in nonsmokers results from other known exposures, including radon gas or secondhand smoke. Asbestos exposure carries a risk for mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer affecting the thin tissue that covers the majority of a person's internal organs.

"Anything that we inhale can potentially expose our airways and our lungs to damaging agents that may give rise to cancer -- we have not yet identified all of these," Haigentz said.

In smokers, it's often caused by years of exposure to cancer-causing substances in tobacco smoke. These substances cause multiple genetic changes in cells that line the lungs.

Haigentz said this new research helps scientists understand how smokers and never-smokers can benefit from treatments such as targeted cancer therapeutics.

Based on the molecular features of lung cancers, scientists have recently developed several effective treatment options targeting its biology, Haigentz said. More advances are anticipated.

Nonsmokers who are worried about lung cancer can take a number of steps, according to Haigentz.

Most important, never start smoking. Experts now recommend lung cancer screening with yearly low-dose CT scans for those who have had significant exposure to smoking, including former smokers. And test your home for radon gas.

"Most importantly, we need to remove the stigma of lung cancer; understand that there are people who have smoked their whole life and never develop cancer, and there are people who have never smoked at all who develop lung cancer," Haigentz said.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on lung cancer.

SOURCE: Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, news release, Jan. 1, 2022