Things About Lung Cancer Doctors Wish You Knew
Second and third-hand smoke can lead to cancer
Twenty-five percent of lung cancer victims have never smoked, says Bernard Park, MD, Deputy Chief of Clinical Affairs of the Thoracic Surgery Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. But, secondhand smoke—and potentially thirdhand smoke, which is nicotine residue left on clothing and surfaces—can increase your risk. “It is well-documented that secondhand smoke exposure is associated with increased lung cancer risk in never smokers, particularly those who live with active smokers,” Dr. Park says. “The risk, much like with direct cigarette smoking, is dose-dependent and can be as high as 25 percent compared to never smokers who live in a smoke-free environment.” If you live with a smoker, have them go outside to smoke, wash their hands afterward and their clothes frequently. And yes, thirdhand smoke is real.