Lung Cancer on the Rise in Nonsmokers – But Why?
Rates in U.S. and U.K. doubled since 2008 without obvious clues
DENVER — The proportion of lung cancer patients who never smoked more than doubled from 2008 to 2014, a British investigator reported here.
Never-smokers accounted for 13% of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cases at the beginning of the study period and rose steadily to 28% by November 2014. Women accounted for two-thirds of the nonsmokers who developed NSCLC, which was associated with nonspecific symptoms or no symptoms in a majority of cases.
Why Are Many Young People Who Never Smoked Getting Lung Cancer?
Anyone who knew her would tell you that Jill Costello hated to lose. She was a fierce competitor as the coxswain for the CAL Berkeley crew team and the type of person that others gravitated to, pulled in by her easy smile and energetic enthusiasm. Jill had an intensity that seemed to radiate out of her. Young, beautiful and athletic, Jill was just 21 years old when she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. She had never smoked a cigarette. She was dead less than a year later.
Jill’s story is tragic but sadly it is not unique: Natalie DiMarco, a 32-year-old mom of two from Petaluma, California; Taylor Bell Duck, a 21-year-old Division 1 athlete from Greenville, South Carolina; Ingrid Nunez, first diagnosed when she was an 18-year-old freshman at Cornell University; Corey Wood, a 22-year-old marathoner who once summited Mt. Kilimanjaro. Jeff Julian, 39-year-old former swimmer for team USA and eight-time All-American and Olympic trials finalist. The parallels in their stories are striking — all young, athletic, and healthy — and none of them ever smoked. Yet all developed advanced stages of lung cancer.
Why? Most likely because smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer.
H/T Rose for Smoking Kills: The Revolutionary Life of Richard Doll.
A battle royal emerged in the 1950s with the world’s most eminent geneticist-statistician, Sir Ronald Fisher, over the smoking-and-cancer evidence. Keating gives a lively account of this bitter gloves-off confrontation. Fisher, attuned to experimental studies of randomly assigned agricultural plots, argued that epidemiological studies without randomization were not ‘scientific’. To underscore the point, he hypothesized the existence of an underlying gene that caused both smoking behaviour and a disposition to lung cancer. He wrote abusive letters to Hill, and suggested publicly that he be stripped of his FRS for having perpetrated poor science.
Scientists fear Alzheimer’s ‘may be passed on in surgeries’
Alzheimer’s disease may be passed on through blood transfusions and contaminated surgical instruments, scientists have suggested.