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El Paso, TX
A 18-year-old male asked about a member:

How can my friend get lung cancer without ever smoking or being around smokers?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Hesham Hassaballa
Pulmonary Critical Care 22 years experience
It can happen...: Unfortunately, some people - albeit a minority - can get lung cancer without having ever smoked or been around smokers. Although it is not a "genetic disorder, " per se, these people clearly have a genetic predisposition to get the disease. It is truly tragic, and many times, unexplainable. But, if diagnosed early, it is definitely treatable, like most other cancers not associated with smoking.
Dr. Creighton Wright
General Surgery 56 years experience
Not uncommon: Smokers are most common, but there are others who have genetic or inhalation issues.

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Similar questions

A 37-year-old member asked:

What to do if i know not all smokers get lung cancer, but what about other problems?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Matthew Cooper
Thoracic Surgery 38 years experience
Smoking: Smoking is related to all sorts of cancers, not just lung, diseases of blood vessels in the body, limitations of exercise capability, etc. It is among the worst of the potentially controllable risk factors.
A 49-year-old member asked:

Is it possible to get lung cancer from things other than smoking?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Alan Wartenberg
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Yes: About 10% of people who get lung cancer are non-smokers. There are many factors - exposure to second hand smoke, exposure to other air-borne toxins (air pollution, industrial exposures in miners and other workers). Asbestos has been mostly eliminated, but old exposure in people working in construction, shipyards, car brakes and elsewhere can cause a cancer called mesothelioma.
A 42-year-old member asked:

Why might it be that some smokers get lung cancer and some never do?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Creighton Wright
General Surgery 56 years experience
Unclear: Different gene risks some die before the cancer evolves ---from some other condition- like heart disease!
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Nuclear Medicine 52 years experience
As an aside, a small number of people who have never smoked also get lung cancer.
May 5, 2013
Dr. Creighton Wright
General Surgery 56 years experience
Provided original answer
Absolutely And also no secondary smoke either
May 5, 2013

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Last updated Jun 21, 2013
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