Jared Weiss, MD, section chief of Thoracic and Head/Neck Oncology in the Department of Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine talks with TODAY.com about how 15% of lung cancer patients have never smoked.
Emily Walthall was a healthy 39-year-old woman enjoying life with her husband and their dogs when everything changed overnight. Through multiple scans plus a biopsy, her true diagnosis was stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer that had spread to her spine and brain. Walthall recalls, “I certainly did not have any thought that it could be cancer. I thought only people who smoke get lung cancer, which I never had,” she said. However, Jared Weiss, MD, section chief of Thoracic and Head/Neck Oncology in the Department of Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine says, “If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer. Nobody deserves lung cancer, whether they’ve smoked or not,” he said.
You can read more about Emily Walthall’s story and how she’s now receiving care from Dr. Weiss at UNC Health, here.