Research Risks

Non-smoking Asian American and Pacific Islander women face higher lung cancer risks, prompting research into genetic and environmental causes and new treatments.

Researchers in Chicago are trying to solve a troubling puzzle: why are so many Asian American and Pacific Islander women developing lung cancer, even if they’ve never smoked?

A new study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center found that these women are diagnosed with lung cancer at higher rates than women of other races, even if they’ve never touched a cigarette. This is especially alarming because lung cancer is usually linked to smoking.

Scientists believe the reason might be a mix of genetics and environmental factors. For example, some Asian populations may have genes that make them more vulnerable to lung cancer. Additionally, factors like secondhand smoke exposure or air pollution could play a role.

To get to the bottom of this mystery, the researchers are studying the genes and environment of over 1,000 Asian American and Pacific Islander women. They hope to identify the specific causes of lung cancer in this group and develop better ways to prevent and treat the disease.

This research is crucial because it highlights the importance of understanding how lung cancer affects different groups of people. While smoking is a major risk factor for everyone, this study shows that other factors may be at play, especially for Asian American and Pacific Islander women. This knowledge could lead to more effective prevention strategies and treatments tailored to specific populations.