Health Watch - Finding Cancer: Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about detecting and evaluating cancer for better treatment. When we think about lung cancer, we think about smoking. But while smoking significantly raises the risk for lung cancer, about a quarter of all lung cancer cases in the world occur in people who’ve never smoked. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center are among those trying to find ways to determine which non-smokers might be at risk for lung cancer.

Dr. Adi Gazdar, a UT Southwestern pathologist, says lung cancer among those who’ve never smoked is a major killer, but it’s almost entirely ignored. The lung cancer that occurs in never-smokers is different from the kind that affects smokers. Researchers are studying the genetics and other biological markers in tumor tissue to find common threads that may help find people who are at risk even though they’ve never smoked.

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August 2009

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