Participating in Our Study

A group of physicians and scientists are currently studying the factors that put people at risk for lung cancer. The best way to study this is to gather information from patients who have received care here. We invite certain patients who have received care at Mayo Clinic to participate in our Lung Cancer Family Study.

While tobacco use is known to be a leading cause of lung cancer, not all people who use tobacco develop lung cancer, nor do all people with lung cancer have a history of tobacco use. Recent evidence shows that certain people may be at a higher risk for the development of lung cancer based on factors passed on from one generation to the next, or "inherited factors." It is our hope that we can identify these factors to help prevent later generations from developing lung and other types of cancers.

If patients meet our research criteria and agree to participate, a study assistant will either set up an interview or mail a questionnaire. The interview takes about 45 minutes. The questionnaire takes about 15 minutes to complete. We need to gather information about your disease, nutritional information and health status of your family members. We understand that you may not know all of the answers to these questions and you may answer the questions to the best of your ability. All information that you provide will be kept strictly confidential.

Your participation is extremely valuable to our study. However, participation is completely voluntary and your medical care at the Mayo Clinic will not be affected by your decision to participate or not.

If you have any questions, please contact us toll-free at 1-800-661-4939 or Susan Ernst at 507-284-5553.

Sample questions for interview

We ask these questions about the following family members: parents, siblings, children, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. We understand that you may not know all of the answers to these questions for each relative in your family. Approximate answers, or answers of "unknown" are welcome.

  1. What is your relative’s name?
  2. Is your relative still living?
    If yes:
    • What is his or her age?
    If no:
    • At what age did your relative pass away?
    • What was the cause of death?
  3. To your knowledge, has your relative ever been diagnosed with cancer?
    If yes:
    • What type of cancer (if known)?
    • How old was your relative when she/he was diagnosed with cancer?
    • Where was your relative treated, (if known)?
  4. To your knowledge, was your relative ever diagnosed with a lung disease, such as emphysema, bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, or tuberculosis?
    If yes:
    • At what age was your relative diagnosed?
  5. To your knowledge, did your relative ever use tobacco products?
    If yes:
    • How much tobacco did he or she use per day?
    • How long did he or she use tobacco?
    • When did he/she quit?
  6. What was your relative’s occupation?