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Non-Smokers Lung Cancer????


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My sister recently had a biopsy and it was found she has lung cancer. They removed the upper portion of her right lung and told her no chemo, no radiation. It had not spread to the lymph nodes.

We lost my Mother in August 06 to NSCLC.

My question is, that my doctor wants to know for my medical records what kind of lung cancer my sister has. I have asked my sister a few times and she doesn't seem to want to tell me...all she will say is that it was the non smokers kind.............

I'm sorry but we all know you do not have to be a smoker to get lung cancer.... I am assuming it was not SCLC because they said it was slow growing.

Anyone have any suggestions? Am I to assume then that it is Adeno.....?

Sorry to be so dumb, but this is all very scary - two primary relatives having lung cancer in such a short time period.

I don't want to ask her again and I don't know why she won't tell me other than she just wants to move on now that she is past her surgery. She has been very closed about the whole thing and would not allow family to be there for her during the surgery.

I am grateful they found hers early, but still very concerned.

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You are right it is very important for all of us to know our family history when it comes to our health. Give her a little time and then ask her again and stress to her the importance. Seems like there is more to it if she did not want any family members there and is being so secretive. I have BAC (Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma/Non-Smoker) which is very slow in developing but do not want to speculate on what your sister has.

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Adenocarcinoma represents about 40% of lung cancer in the US. Is common among women, in whom the number of new cases is increasing. Is also more common in non-smokers.

Or it could be BAC Bronchioalveolar Adenocarinoma Alveoli. I would think it's one of those two.

Best of luck to your sister.

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I think it would be safe to tell your doctor it was NSCLC. If she doesn't want to tell you I guess you just have to respect that. You can't assume it was adeno, it may have been bac or squamous. Clearly you have a genetic risk in your family and you need to make sure you monitor your health closely.

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Ry is totally correct. You might want to make mention to your sister that the kind of cancer she has may very well be helpful for you to know for your medical records. And tell her that your doctor has asked you what kind. If you haven't already.

My sister, dad, and mother all died of lung cancer. My mom had Small Cell my dad and sister had Non-small Cell. Back then they didn't really tell you the type or kind other then small cell or non-small cell.

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Thanks everyone. Unfortunately, I DID tell my sister that my doctor specifically asked, because she is concerned. It doesn't seem to have made a difference.

I made our brother aware at least that we both have to watch our health closely. He even seemed surprised (they are both much older than I) but he was grateful that I did make him aware.

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Just for people's knowledge, small cell is almost seen in smokers, and usually significant, long-term smokers, so it's a virtual certainty that a never-smoker has NSCLC. The clear majority are adenocarcinomas, and BAC is a subgroup of adeno.

I've written something about these issues in a couple of posts, if people are interested:



Take care.

-Dr West

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