When a family fried recently was diagnosed with lung cancer, we were all puzzled because she and her husband did not smoke. She wasn’t the first Asian American we knew that happened to, and according to this article, it’s a mystery why Female Asian Non-smokers (FANS) have a much higher lung cancer rate than other American women. The article goes on to say that lung cancer is decreasing for everything else, according to this study. Dr. Jeffrey Velotta from Kaiser Permanente and also UCSF, says that for FANS, lung cancer is increasing at 2% per year.
Velotta, along with researchers from UCSF, Stanford and UC Davis, is studying why FANS are getting lung cancer. They are recruiting members for their study – you can sign up at the FANS study home page. For actions that people can take now, Velotta recommends that anyone having respiratory systems that don’t get better after four weeks should see a doctor. Other doctors suggest that lung cancer screening be done for younger Asian women – regular lung cancer screen is typically done for people over 50 with a history of regular smoking, but this misses the FANS demographic.