Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lung cancer: It also affects non-smokers

Lung cancer also affects people who have never smoked. However, the lung tumors of these patients are generally not the same as those of smokers.

Lung cancer is different in smokers and nonsmokers

If smoking is the most important risk factors for lung cancer, the disease also affects non smokers. It is estimated that 15% of patients with lung cancer have never smoked. However, as an increasing number of data suggests, lung cancer non-smokers are often different from those diagnosed in smokers: the abnormalities observed in cancer cells of these two categories of patients are not the same.

What are the risk factors of lung cancer among non-smokers?

Side risk factor, it is well established that passive smoking and exposure to radon pollution play an important role in the occurrence of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Exposure to asbestos, wood smoke and fumes of cooking oil could also pose a risk. However, all of these factors can explain only half of cases of lung cancers diagnosed among non-smokers.

The treatment of lung cancer is different there too?

Later treatment, it appears already that certain drugs are more targeted therapy effective in non-smokers. This is particularly the case of "inhibitors of EGFR (Epidermic Growth Factor Receptor). But a better understanding of the molecular characteristics of tumors developing in people who never smoked could lead to an improvement in their care. It would not only choose treatments best suited among those existing, but also to develop new therapeutic molecules specifically targeting tumors from smokers.

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