Can a young non smoker get lung cancer?

Posted by lex1 @lex1, Jan 31, 2018

Hey everyone,

I’m a 16 y/o male,overweight,never had lung issues before,non smoker. I’ve been having chest pains since late december. Just recently I started coughing aswell. I’ve had a chest xray which came out fine. Am i at risk?

My anxiety is eating me up,please help me

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Lung Health Support Group.

@lex1 Certainly. There are a large number of genetic and environmental issues which can bring about an eruption of lung cancer, as well as other diseases. I have known at least 3 persons under the age of 20 who have been diagnosed with hATTRwt, a hereditary Amyloidosis TransThyRetin wild type autoimmune disease which usually makes itself known above the age of 50. All three were diagnosed after lung cancer was discovered in their lungs. Second, Radon, weed killers such as 2,4D and Roundup and Agent Orange and other chemicals can and will produce lung cancer. My lungs are filled with nodules and growths, yet I have smoked only two cigarettes and about 3 puffs on a stogie in my whole life. I am 78. I suggest you get on the Mayo site and look up lung cancer. However, It probably is more likely you have some heart disease, or spleen inflammation, or Fibromyalgia. One of the pain points is a spot half way between your shoulder point and your left nipple, some time after you eat. Look these up yourself, first. You have to try to cure your own mine and motivation first.


Hi @lex1,
Lung cancer is very rare in teens and young adults. Chest pains and coughing are common symptoms for many things. See Mayo Clinic’s symptom checker to find other possible explanations Most importantly, talk to your doctor about the symptoms that you are having.

Have you talked to your parents about the pain and that it is still there?


Hi @lex1

I want to welcome you to Connect. I am delighted that you found us and you have asked questions and shared your concerns.

I am a 10 year lung cancer survivor, who is thriving, thanks to brilliant physicians at Mayo Clinic. I understand your concern as I suffered from a chocking cough, upper shoulder pain and sweats for two years not imagining it was lung cancer. I have always been athletic and I never smoke!

Finding a physician who will listen to you is very important. We live in a small community and local doctors did not listen to my concerns. Proper diagnosis that included a chest CT scan along with proper treatment is what saved my life.

Since my diagnosis and treatment of non small cell adenocarcinoma lung cancer 10 yeas ago, there have been more than 1100 therapies developed. I totally support the advice of Colleen Young, Connect Director who referred you to

Most importantly, I encourage you to talk to your doctor about the symptoms you are having. I have met three young people who have been diagnosed with lung cancer. So, please talk to a physician about your symptoms.

What have your parents recommended to help you figure out what is going on?


My chest stays were always clear. Ct only showed cancer at stage 4 lung.

Please sign in or register to post a reply.