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Family member of survivors

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Hello my mother is a lung cancer survivor of 29 years. My sister was diagnosed at age 54 that was 4 years ago. She was just diagnosed with cancer of the bone in multiple areas. They both had stage 1-a. I'm wondering if there are places to get genetic testing for other family members. 

Edited by Carolyn Wheeler
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Hi, Carolyn,

Welcome to LCSC. I will reach out to some of my support and survivorship team members to see if we can provide you with more information.

With gratitude,

Digital Community Manager
LUNGevity Foundation

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HI Carolyn, 

At this time there is no inherited genetic testing similar to that of say, breast cancer.  But researchers are working to try to find something.  For those with high risk or familial history of lung cancer, having a great medical support team that will follow your health closely is the best option right now.  My own family has a history of lung cancer and other cancers so I started getting mammograms early in my 30s and I have a great doctor who does chest x-rays and ct scans regularly- you may have to pay out of pocket for this as it's not approved as a screening tool for people under 55 with no smoking history.  

This is what I found from ACS- hope this helps-  I feel like they definitely neglect people with no risk factors or exposures to harmful carcinogens so a great PCP who will watch your health based on your family history is definitely a good idea.


Inherited gene changes

Some people inherit DNA mutations (changes) from their parents that greatly increase their risk for developing certain cancers. But inherited mutations alone are not thought to cause very many lung cancers.

Still, genes do seem to play a role in some families with a history of lung cancer. For example, people who inherit certain DNA changes in a particular chromosome (chromosome 6) are more likely to develop lung cancer, even if they don’t smoke or only smoke a little.

Some people seem to inherit a reduced ability to break down or get rid of certain types of cancer-causing chemicals in the body, such as those found in tobacco smoke. This could put them at higher risk for lung cancer.

Other people inherit faulty DNA repair mechanisms that make it more likely they will end up with DNA changes. People with DNA repair enzymes that don’t work normally might be especially vulnerable to cancer-causing chemicals and radiation.

Researchers are developing tests that may help identify such people, but these tests are not yet used routinely. For now, doctors recommend that all people avoid tobacco smoke and other exposures that might increase their cancer risk.

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