Lung Cancer

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15 Ways to Prevent Lung Cancer

Know Your Family History

Know Your Family History

If you have a parent, sibling or child with lung cancer, you have a higher risk of the disease. Experts aren’t sure if the increased risk is tied directly to genetics, or to the fact that people who come from a family of smokers tend to smoke themselves (or are exposed to a higher concentration of secondhand smoke at home). 

Start by tracing back three generations of biological relatives, noting any significant medical diagnoses they received and the age at which they received them. It’s also important to note the cause of death of any deceased family members, and the age at which they died. While you can’t change your family tree, knowing your risk can help your doctor keep a closer watch on your health if needed.

By Jenilee Matz, MPH. Jenilee Matz, MPH, is a medical writer, health educator, and triathlete based in Charlotte, NC. Published June 5, 2012.