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Age at diagnosis?

Posts: 38
Joined: Sep 2008

I'm curisous as to what was your age at diagnosis. My grandmother died of lung cancer, smoked two packs a day for 50 years. Both parents never smoked. Dad has passed, unrelated to lung cancer. Mom is still going strong at 74. I was just wondering is lung cancer an older persons disease? I'm 49 and been having a "smokers cough" for a while now, I smoke about one pack a day, but just started picking up cigarettes again around 6 months ago. I had quit for ten years. I shouldn't worry at all about this right? I mean, don't you have to be smoking for years and years to get lung cancer ( the kind from smoking)? My lungs should have healed from quitting for ten years , so are they not almost good as new now? And just a little history, I have mild COPD and suppose to use an inhaler for that, but I don't as it hasn't been that bad lately. Any advice? Please if you would, share your age at diagnosis, I would appreciate it very much. Thank you, and God bless all of you!


Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

I was dx 1 month before turning 66 May 2008, NSCL 3B had quit smoking 21 years earlier. I also thought my lungs should be as good as a non smoker.... Onco Dr.said once damaged from smoking never.. will be that good again, so don't fool yourself and quit. ... Good Luck... Dan

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Posts: 281
Joined: Mar 2011

... 59, never smoked, and a fitness nut, so go figure. I probably had a bunch of other risk factors that would have amounted to nothing in most people, but all added together might have swung the balance. That and maybe just bad genes.

I think the answer to most of your questions is, "it depends," since individuals aren't statistics. "Shouldn't worry about this at all" is probably a little over-optimistic, especially in light of any symptoms at all ("smoker's cough"). You can get this thing at almost any age (obviously biased towards older), with or without smoking.

I guess since you asked, my advice would be to talk about your concerns with a doc, and get checked out. If something is going on, you can't assume it out of existence, and the sooner you find out, the better. If all is OK, your mind will be at rest.

Posts: 38
Joined: Sep 2008

I think I will let my doc know. I appreciate all the comments! Take care all of you!

Dapsterd's picture
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

47 yrs old, smoked pack day-25 yrs. Still cheat, stage IV Lung Cancer......but NED as we speak !!, now almost 50. 7 yrs now no drinking, thought smoking would be easier.....NOT !

It may not really matter if you quit or not or really how long, length of time is "better", but not a sure thing at all for not getting the disease, damage is done for cancer more than likely. Read Ex-Rocker--never smoked!

COPD will never be better, always getting worse, but....my Pulmonologist says "the cancer will kill me before the COPD will" !! .......nice guy eh? !

Best wishes...>Dave

Posts: 844
Joined: Mar 2011

The son of a childhood friend has just been diagnosed at age 26- never smoker, not even second hand. One young woman I correspond with on inspire.com is 21, also never smoker. In addition to lung cancer, tobacco figures prominently in bladder, throat, tongue, adrenal, kidney and muscle cancers to name a few.

I was 58 at time of diagnosis but you do not need to smoke steadily for years and years to develop cancer. I suspect you know this.

My dad died of cancer at the ripe old age of 44.

catcon49's picture
Posts: 398
Joined: Aug 2008

I was 52. No symptoms except a cough mostly after I smoked a cigarette. I quit for 6 years and started smoking again before I was dx. Don't panic. It doesn't mean you have lung cancer, but get rid of the cigs. Can't hurt. Speak to your doctor about your cough. Mostly the dr.s will only say the cancer I had was from environmental causes.

Take care.


medi_2's picture
Posts: 509
Joined: Aug 2009

Boy we are hearing that more and more! My doc said the same thing and i was a smoker; but I was very active and still am. I was around 51 when I was diagnosed.
Good Luck!

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

Everybody's lung capacity declines with age. Smoking causes a steep decline in lung ability. Quitting helps get the lungs back on track so eventually they only decline at the rate a healthy person's lungs decline. Don't go back to the cigs! You don't have the same lungs as a teenager anymore. (I don't even think of shopping in the teen section of the department store so why should I be surprised that my innards are also not forever young!) You have already been diagnosed with COPD bad enough to need an inhaler. That means you are starting with lungs that are moderately impaired. Lung cancer may or may not be an issue for you but the COPD will impair your quality of life quicker if you smoke. You don't need that hassle if you can avoid it.

I never smoked and was fortunate to discover I had stage one lc at 49. Only surgery was needed. So no, lung cancer is not confined to the elderly.

Posts: 122
Joined: Sep 2011

my husband smoked 1 1/2 to 2 packs daily and had quit 10 years ago only to be diagnosed at age 50 with nsclc :(

Posts: 5
Joined: May 2012

I was diagnosed at age 58 with NSCLC I quit smoking 10 years ago. Someone else mentioned and I believe its true, most Doctors seem to think the cause is enviromental. Hope this helps

arlekim's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: Mar 2012

I was diagnosed on 3/30/12 during VAST surgery. Stage 1A Endocarcinoma, I was 45, never smoked or have been exposed to 2nd hand smoke, does BBQ smoke count? I love to BBQ. I didn't need chemo or radiation, thnk God, recovery has been slow n painfull, was admitted in the cardiac unit 2 wks ago for agonizing chest pain n shortness of breath. I have a very, very low pain tolerance. Taking it one step at a time... Good luck w/ everything to all...

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2012

I was diagnosed at the age of 47 and had never smoked a day in my life. I was also a very healthy military member. I will never know what caused it, but rest assured that lung cancer does not just affect smokers or older people. If I were you I would give up smoking for good because you are increasing your risk. If I can get lung cancer then a smoker is definitely at a higher risk.

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