Last updated: December 2022
My dad passed away from lung cancer on May 4, 2001, he was just 57 years old. He was the youngest of 5 children. 4 boys and 1 girl. His sister was in her early 30's when she died from lung cancer and he lost 2 of his brothers from the disease as well.
Only one brother escaped the horror of lung cancer and he died of heart disease in his 60s. The other brother was murdered and we will never know what other fate would have befallen him had he lived longer. My grandfather was born in 1887 and died in 1945, most likely from lung cancer. They said he died of "consumption" but no one really knew.
What lies ahead?
My brother and I have wondered what lies ahead for us. Will the same fate await? I met with a geneticist. There is not a test for familial lung cancer as there is for say breast cancer. I was told, just continue leading a healthy lifestyle, don't smoke, eat healthy, exercise.
Will that be enough? Lung cancer is not specific to nonsmokers, or those who eat fried foods or don't run 5 miles every day. The day my dad turned 50 years old, he called me and said, "Teresa, our family doesn't have a great track record of living out of their 50s." He died at 57. I am 54. This is very scary.
Happy Lung Cancer Awareness Month! What does self-advocacy mean to you?