How Closely a Family Member is Related
Having a first-degree family member (parent, sibling or child) with lung cancer roughly doubles the risk of developing lung cancer. This risk is more for women and less for men and stronger in nonsmokers than smokers. Having a second-degree relative (an aunt, uncle, niece or nephew) with lung cancer raises your risk by around 30%.
Smoking Status, Lung Cancer and Heredity
Smokers who develop lung cancer are less likely to have a family history than nonsmokers that develop lung cancer. That said, however, for those who have a genetic predisposition to lung cancer, smoking appears to amplify that risk.
- Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers
Type of Lung Cancer and Heredity
Studies vary in the types of lung cancers that have the greatest hereditary component, but those with nonsmall cell lung cancers, especially lung adenocarcinoma are more likely to have a family history of lung cancer than those with small cell lung cancers.
A recent finding is that non-smokers with non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors have an EGFR mutation are much more likely to have a family history of lung cancer than those who have an ALK or KRAS mutation.