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My brother died recently of lung cancer but he never smoke tobacco or drink any alcohol, What caused the disease?

By Anonymous January 13, 2016 - 8:25am
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The doctor got some smoke in the lungs after lab test.

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Hello Anonymous,

Welcome to EmpowHER. I am sorry to hear that your brother died recently. I don't think there is a family that has not lost a loved one to this disease.

Smoking causes the majority of lung cancers — both in smokers and in people exposed to secondhand smoke. But lung cancer also occurs in people who never smoked and in those who never had prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke. In these cases, there may be no clear cause of lung cancer.

There are three types of lung cancer.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

This is the most common type of lung cancer. About 85% of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma are all subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer.

Small Cell Lung Cancer

Small cell lung cancer is also called oat cell cancer. About 10%-15% of lung cancers are small cell lung cancers. This type of lung cancer tends to spread quickly.

Lung Carcinoid Tumor

Fewer than 5% of lung cancers are lung carcinoid tumors. They are also sometimes called lung neuroendocrine tumors. Most of these tumors grow slowly and rarely spread.

In addition to smoking and exposure to second hand smoke, exposure to radon gas, asbestos, arsenic, chromium and nickel can increase your risk of developing lung cancer, especially if you're a smoker.

People with a parent, sibling or child with lung cancer have an increased risk of the disease.

I am not familiar with the finding of smoke in his lungs after a lab test was done.

Lung cancer may be found by imaging tests (such as a chest x-ray or chest CT scan), bronchoscopy (viewing the inside of lung airways through a flexible lighted tube), or sputum exam (microscopic examination of cells in coughed up phlegm.


January 13, 2016 - 9:11am
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