My mom passed away on Christmas Eve... - 1268312

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 07:10

My mom was diagonesed with ALK positive lung cancer in Feb of 2014 she has never smoked and was only 58. She suffered greatly and could not handle any of the treatments available to her. While I am happy she is no longer suffering I miss her dearly and I feel like I am now living with this constant fear that it will happen to me, I want to be proactive but am not sure what to do....

Thank You for any advise,
Tiana

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JimC

Tiana,

I am so sorry to hear of your mom's passing. At times lung cancer can be so aggressive that no treatment can slow its progress, and I am sorry that was the case for your mom.

Although smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, it is not rare among those who have never smoked or have a light smoking history. (As you can see from my signature below, my wife was also a non-smoker). If you are concerned that you may be at greater risk because of her ALK positive status, please be reassured that the ALK genetic rearrangement is almost certainly acquired, just as mutations caused by smoking or exposure to radon are acquired. It is not something that she had from birth and you are not at any greater risk of having it than the general population. Although genetic factors can play a role in developing cancer, in lung cancer the greater risk is from exposure to toxic substances such as tobacco smoke or radon.

You may find helpful this post on genetics and lung cancer: http://cancergrace.org/lung/2008/08/29/resta-genetic-risk-lung-ca/

Please accept my sincere condolences and my heartfelt wishes for peace and comfort.

JimC
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