Question

Lung Cancer

Can nonsmokers get lung cancer?

A Answers (7)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Nonsmokers can get lung cancer, but their risk is much lower than that of smokers. One study looked at the results of several large studies and found that about 19% of all women diagnosed with lung cancer had never smoked, and about 9% of men diagnosed with lung cancer did not smoke.

    The percentages may be shocking but they are still a minority. Your risk of lung cancer is highest if you smoke. The best way to lower your risk of lung cancer is to never take a drag of a cigarette. The second best way to lower your risk is to quit now.
  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered

    Yes.  If you are exposed to radon or other particles or arsenic or radiation, yes, but over 90% of people with lung cancer have been smokers.

  • As many as 20-30% of lung cancers can occur in non-smokers. There may be a variety of reasons why this occurs. Some of it may be related to occupational exposure, radon gas, and secondhand smoke. There may be genetic predisposition to developing lung cancer in some non-smokers. The frequency of lung cancer in non-smoking women seems to be increasing.
  • APenn Medicine answered

    Yes, even nonsmokers can get lung cancer.  In fact, just being exposed to second half smoke poses as a risk factor.

  • ARaja M. Flores, MD, Thoracic Surgery, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    Can I Get Lung Cancer If I've Never Smoked?

    In 15 to 20 percent of lung cancer cases, smoking played no role. In this video, Raja Flores, MD, thoracic surgeon at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, discusses these rare cases, which often affect women.

  • AIvan Hernandez, MD, Psychiatry, answered on behalf of Bayview Center for Mental Health, Inc.

    Yes, nonsmokers can develop lung cancer. About 10 percent of men and 20 percent of women diagnosed with lung cancer are nonsmokers. Nonsmokers with lung cancer tend to respond better to a new generation of chemotherapy drugs, according to Dr. Alan Sandler of the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

  • ARobert S Kaufmann, MD, Internal Medicine, answered

    Absolutely.  There is all sorts of types of lung cancer.   Unfortunately there is a higher incidence of young females having lung cancer who have never smoked in their life so anybody can get lung cancer and also it can spread from other cancers but the most common cause of lung cancer is tobacco.

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