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Lung Cancer

Lung cancer

09/04/2008

Question:

One of my uncles was diagonosed with lung cancer recently. Luckily it was diagonsed in the earlier stages itself. He had his lung removed 2 weeks back. We are all still very shocked and upset. I am afrad that something might happen to him. Can you tell me what all preacutions he needs to take,now that he has only one lung. Is there a chance of the cancer coming back?

I also wanted to know what are the reasons for a person to get lung cancer. My uncle was very active and was very careful when it came to eating food. He only ate healthy diet and excercised regularly. He never smoked in his life. So how could a person who was this careful about health can ever get cancer? I know it might be hard to answer such a question but still can you tell me what are the factors that cause a lung cancer. Thanks in advance!

Answer:

Lung cancer can come back after surgery.  Your uncle's surgeon should tell him what stage the cancer was and that will tell him how likely the cancer is to come back.  Most surgeons will get chest CT's every 4-6 months to check for recurrence. 

As far as precautions, that's something that the surgeon should go over with you.  Other than lifting and driving restrictions, most people can do what they feel up to. 

About 10% of lung cancers occur in non-smokers.  This could be related to second hand smoke exposure, family history or other  factors that we are not yet aware of. 

I hope this helps.

For more information:

Go to the Lung Cancer health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Sandra L Starnes, MD Sandra L Starnes, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati