Higher Chance of getting Lung Cancer Growing

Non-Smokers Should get Scans

Abby Adkins, Staff Writer

Mandi Pike had a PET scan (scan that helps reveal how your tissue and organs are functioning) in November of 2019 that revealed the mother, wife, and oil trader was diagnosed with lung cancer at 33. Her first reaction was “but I’ve never smoked”. She was shocked and confused until she looked more into some studies.

According to a study published in December in JAMA Oncology, cigarette smoking is still the single greatest cause of lung cancer. That is why they recommend screening for current and former smokers.

Scientists can’t agree on whether the number of patients is increasing but it is very clear to them that the number of non-smoker’s getting lung cancer is. It seemed to take them longer to see this in patients but they are working hard to find the difference in the non-smokers disease differs from smokers.

Some data says the rate of non-smokers with cancer has raised but others say it hasn’t. The problem with reading the data is the scans don’t show if they have smoked or not or even how much they have smoked over the years.

Current cancer screening guidelines recommend a CT scan for anyone 50 to 80 years old who has smoked at least 20 pack-years — Which is the equivalent of one pack a day for 20 years, or two packs a day for 10 years—and who is still smoking or quit less than 15 years ago. Screening is not recommended for non-smokers because the costs of doing so are deemed greater than the benefits.

Stat-news says that approximately 20% of lung cancer cases that occur in women in the U.S. and 9% of cases in men, are diagnosed and are never-smokers.