Kathy Griffin announces she has lung cancer even though she's never smoked

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Comedian and actor Kathy Griffin has shared that she has stage 1 lung cancer even though she has never been a smoker.

Griffin, 60, revealed in a tweet on Monday that she is having part of her left lung removed after being diagnosed but is optimistic that she will make a quick recovery.

2019 SXSW Conference And Festival - Day 2 (Gary Miller / Getty Images)
2019 SXSW Conference And Festival - Day 2 (Gary Miller / Getty Images)

"I've got to tell you guys something," she wrote. "I have cancer. I'm about to go into surgery to have half of my left lung removed. Yes, I have lung cancer even though I've never smoked! The doctors are very optimistic as it is stage one and contained to my left lung. Hopefully no chemo or radiation after this and I should have normal function with my breathing."

Griffin estimated that she would be "up and running around as usual" in a month.

"It's been a helluva 4 years, trying to get back to work, making you guys laugh and entertaining you, but I'm gonna be just fine," she wrote. "Of course I am fully vaccinated for Covid. The consequences for being unvaccinated would have been even more serious. Please stay up to date on your medical check ups. It'll save your life."

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On Aug. 2, Griffin's representatives said the "surgery went well and as planned," adding that the comedian is now in recovery.

It's not clear which of the two main types of lung cancer Griffin has been diagnosed with. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type found in 80-85% of cases, while small cell lung cancer is more rare and spreads faster than the other type, according to the American Cancer Society.

About 80% of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking, and many others are caused by exposure to secondhand smoke, according to the American Cancer Society.

Other risk factors include family history of lung cancer; exposure to asbestos, arsenic or other cancer-causing agents in the workplace; exposure to radiation from radiation therapy, certain imaging tests or radon at home or at work; air pollution or an HIV infection.

Fifty-six percent of people whose lung cancer is caught before it spreads to other parts of the body live five years after diagnosis, according to the American Lung Association.

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