Lung Scans for Non-Smokers?

The CancerWise News Site reported last week on a problem that seems to be plaguing our nation. The problem is that there are a significant number of people who are non-smokers but end up suffering from lung cancer. In most cases, this is probably caused by exposure to secondhand smoke (also known as passive smoking). They report on two different cases in which CT scans revealed lung cancer in non-smoking patients. In the first case profiled in the report, a middle-aged man had battled cancer for years after growing up in a smoking household. Despite this, he failed to get regular CT scans. Luckily for him, a new doctor recommended that a look be taken at his lungs and it was indeed found that he had lung cancer. The information was obtained by a chest X-ray and then confirmed by a PET scan. In the second case, an elderly man not only grew up in a smoking household but also lived for fifty years with a wife who smoked. His wife passed away in 2003, due in part to lung cancer. The following year, the man had a mild stroke. In the course of treating him for the stroke, a CT scan revealed that he had lung cancer despite the fact that he himself had not ever smoked. Of course, no one is suggesting that every single person has to rush out right now and get a lung scan. But if you've lived with someone who smoked, there's a good chance that you could be at risk for lung cancer. The report says that one in five women and one in ten men wih lung cancer are non-smokers. For these people, a scan could be the difference between life and death.

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