Genetic links to this common cancer ignored for decades

According to a new analysis published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, more never-smokers than ever are getting lung cancer. And we can thank the political science bureaucrats at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for that devastating new trend.

Because back in the mid-1980s, these bureaucrats made the fatally flawed, unscientific decision that smoking essentially causes all lung cancer (and all lung disease), and that future research would focus on smoking cessation and prevention. Meanwhile, they effectively ignored the science about genetic susceptibility and environmental risks.

I know all about this tragic deception because I was personally in the room when they publicly announced it with great fanfare. In the next breath, they announced their plan to funnel all of the agency’s resources, research, and funding into smoking cessation programs. And they fraudulently made it seem like they were making some kind of major “scientific” advancement.

Old biases against lung cancer victims still linger

Almost all those involved in that travesty are gone now. But as Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar, “The evil that men do live after them, while the good is oft interred with their bones.”

Indeed, nearly 40 years after the NCI bureaucrats made that politically driven decision, lung cancer victims still face tremendous medical bias. In fact, as the authors of the new analysis point out, “the stigma of smoking is the major factor behind the lack of interest in, knowledge of, and research into lung cancer.”

Without a doubt, lung cancer gets a lot less attention than breast, ovarian, colon, and other cancers—despite the fact that it’s still the No. 1 cancer killer overall in the U.S. (Perhaps this ignorance is why it remains the No. 1 killer!)

Worse yet, most people today who develop lung cancer are never-smokers or quit long ago. In fact, roughly 40,000 never-smokers in the U.S. develop lung cancer each year. Those numbers are much worse than cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma. Plus, lung cancer among never-smokers is the sixth leading cause of cancer death today in the U.S.!

But with the NCI’s decades-old, fatally flawed lung cancer policy, non-smokers tend to think they aren’t really at any risk of developing the disease. When in reality, just one out of 10 smokers get lung cancer or other lung diseases. And historically, one out of 100 never-smokers still get lung cancer. And sadly, that number has been dramatically on the rise.

Clearly, it’s high time to move past the NCI’s ridiculous, narrow-minded policy and investigate the other incontrovertible causes of lung cancer.

For one, there are obvious genetic components…

Some people are just genetically susceptible to smoke

Humans have been breathing in smoke in dwellings like caves, tents, teepees, and even early log cabins since the invention of fire two million years ago. Ambient smoke levels inside these kinds of dwellings are much higher than levels from tobacco smoke.

So, it only stands to reason that humans long ago developed some natural defenses against smoke inhalation. Indeed, the lungs have enzymes that break down and detoxify smoke and products of combustion.

But a minority of people carry a genetic variants, making them deficient in these protective enzymes. (There are blood tests available to find out if you carry these variants.)

In fact, I actually worked on one such blood test way back in 1974 with Dr. Jack Lieberman at the Pulmonary Biochemistry Lab, at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California, as a summer college student research fellow.

Additionally, high-risk individuals who carry this variant, or other risk factors, can now be screened with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT).

But we still need to put more resources into studying the genetic and environmental factors that increase lung cancer risk in non-smokers. Recent research points to urban pollution and some indoor pollution as contributing causes. (Another important reason to get outdoors into Nature and green spaces.)

In fact, I exposed the simple, safe, pennies-per-day way to enjoy Nature while protecting yourself against air pollution in the July 2017 issue of my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“How to get some fresh air this summer—and avoid being overwhelmed by pollution”). Subscribers have access to this issue and all of my archives. So, if you haven’t already, click here to sign up today!

Arm yourself with real science on lung cancer

Almost 40 years ago, the bureaucrats at the NCI tried to blame smokers for all lung cancers, claiming it was just a behavioral problem. They simply bent, twisted, ignored, and even buried the science to suit their political agenda to outlaw all smoking. (And now they’re trying to do the same thing with alcohol…and even for climate change.)

But it’s still just all smoke and mirrors.

That’s why I’m putting all the science-backed, natural approaches to supporting lung health in my Breathe Better Lung Health Protocol. In fact, I’m putting the finishing touches on it as we speak. It’ll be available to the public later this year, so stay tuned. As always, you’ll be the first to hear about the release of this innovative, life-saving online learning tool.


“Lung cancer in never smokers: a hidden disease.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2019.