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Lung diseases

Risk Of Lung Cancer Higher With Breast Cancer

09/11/2011

Question:

I am a 54 year old female who treated for Stage 1 Triple Negative breast cancer last year, which included a lumpectomy, 4 chemotherapy treatments and 33 radiations. It`s been one year and my mammogram is okay but I asked my doctors to give me a PET scan to rule out other cancers They told me it is not part of their protocol - they only do body scans if I am having a problem. My question to you is, with a history of cancer in my family (1 prostate, 3 lung cancers, 2 breast)- do you think I`m at increased odds for lung cancer? I was a 30 year smoker and I quit 6 years ago. Should I receive diagnostic scans? Thank you.

Answer:

You are at an increased risk of lung cancer due to your family history and smoking history. Chest CT has been shown to decrease the risk of death from lung cancer in a recent trial; however, it is not standard right now.

I would talk to your doctors about screening for lung cancer. CT is the best option, not PET. I hope this helps.

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Response by:

Sandra L Starnes, MD Sandra L Starnes, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati