Lung Cancer FAQ: Inherited risk of lung cancer

Q: "I have lung cancer, what risk is there that my family will develop lung cancer?"

A: There are some families whose members seem to be more susceptible to lung cancer when their lungs are exposed to cigarette smoke. It could be that their genetic makeup and immune system provide less protection when their lung cells are damaged by smoke.

Smoking is by far the primary cause of lung cancer. It is responsible for more than 75 percent of a person's risk of getting lung cancer.

Overall, your family's risk of lung cancer can be significantly reduced by not smoking or stopping smoking, and by protecting family members from second-hand smoke.

Answers provided by Providence lung cancer experts.

Last updated: August 2002