Is Lung Cancer in Young Adults Hereditary?

Juhi Kunde, Director of Science & Research Marketing
Title slide with photo of Dr LoPiccolo

Read time: 2 minutes

The question of whether lung cancer is hereditary is becoming increasingly important in the lung cancer community. While the average age of lung cancer diagnosis is approximately 70 years old, we are now seeing young adults in their 20s and 30s getting lung cancer.

We currently suspect lung cancer in young adults may be caused by environmental factors (such as air pollution or chemical exposure), their genetic make-up, or some combination of these factors.

We cannot say for certain if lung cancer is hereditary, but researchers are working to understand the causes of lung cancer in these young adults and determine if genetics plays a role.

In the video below, LUNGevity and Lung Cancer Initiative spoke with Gwen Orilio (patient advocate) and Dr. Jaclyn LoPiccolo (thoracic oncologist, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) to discuss what’s known about the link between genetics and lung cancer, and why understanding these connections is important.

This video includes information for getting involved in a clinical trial that is studying the genetics and biology of lung cancer in people ages 45 years or younger.

You can learn more about Dr. LoPiccolo's research project here.