Everyone knows that smoking is bad for their health. Research even shows that 80 percent of smokers develop chronic diseases like lung cancer. Clearly, smoking has serious repercussions. However, not only are smokers at risk of developing health issues, but even nonsmokers can suffer. In fact, research dictates that 15-30 percent of nonsmokers suffer from secondhand smoke and can even develop lung cancer.
However, not all nonsmokers are affected by just outside forces alone. Sometimes the problem comes from within our bodies. Further research shows that our genetic makeup could be the reason why some nonsmokers develop chronic health issues.
For Charlotte native Vicky Foster, developing lung cancer came as a real shock. The single mother never smoked a day in her life. Her diagnosis has even puzzled some physicians and led to questions about whether or not lung cancer in nonsmokers could potentially be caused by their own DNA. Her diagnosis definitely is a mystery to the medical world.
Vicky Foster’s Diagnosis
Four years ago, Vicky Foster led a healthy lifestyle. She even worked full-time and has been carrying for her seven-year-old daughter, Nila. However, life started to take a turn for the worst after she had difficulty breathing during one of her cycling classes.
At first, the Charlotte native brushed off the occurrence as just being tired from a good workout. Though, when Foster returned to her cycling class, she still had trouble with her breathing. Even worse, the single mother developed a chronic cough.
After visiting a doctor about her symptoms, Foster was shocked to learn that she had stage 4 lung cancer. The news shocked her, especially given the fact that she never once picked up a cigarette. Of course, Vicky Foster had a lot to consider about her health.
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Her Diagnosis Becomes A Mystery
Foster’s diagnosis has posed a particularly challenging question to physicians. Most research affirms that outside forces like second-hand smoke, air pollution and exposure to harmful chemicals in the air, such as radon, can all cause lung cancer. However, many physicians don’t understand why nonsmokers develop the chronic disease even without these contributing factors.
The Atrium Health Director of Lung Cancer Screenings and Pulmonologist Dr. John Doty knows that genetics can lead to the development of cancerous cells in the body.
Some research does note that our chromosomes could be responsible for such an anomaly to appear. In particular, we can inherit certain genetic mutations from our parents that could lead to the occurrence of a chronic illness, like lung cancer. Specifically, nonsmokers who