Expert Answers Questions About Lung Cancer Following Kathy Griffin’s Recent Diagnosis

Kathy Griffin was diagnosed with lung cancer… and she never even smoked.

As the star recovers from life-saving surgery, “Extra’s” Senior Executive Producer Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey is learning more about the disease with Dr. Robert J. McKenna M.D., Professor of Surgery at Saint John’s Cancer Institute.

Dr. McKenna is not treating Kathy, but he is a pioneer in the field.

Lisa asked what factors might contribute to someone getting lung cancer, and Dr. McKenna said that aside from smoking, “probably radon gas,” which is caused by uranium breaking down and entering the air we breathe.

Kathy’s sister Joyce died in 2017 of an unknown type of cancer, and her brother passed away three years earlier after a battle with esophageal cancer. Dr. McKenna confirmed, “it certainly runs in families as well.”

Griffin caught the cancer at stage one and on Monday had half of one lung removed before it spread elsewhere else in her body. Dr. McKenna said, “The advantage in screening is that you do find it at an earlier stage, so anybody who gets lung cancer earlier definitely has a better survival rate.”

Dr. McKenna also told Lisa about the minimally invasive lung cancer surgery he invented in the 1990s.

Watch the full interview!

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