‘Big Bang Theory’ Star Kate Micucci Reveals Lung Cancer Diagnosis: ‘Never Smoked a Cigarette’

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
December 13, 2023Entertainment

Actress Kate Micucci, best known for her role as Lucy in “The Big Bang Theory,” has revealed that she recently underwent surgery for lung cancer.

Ms. Micucci shared her diagnosis in a video posted on social media over the weekend, explaining from the hospital that she’s currently recovering from surgery to remove the disease.

The 43-year-old, who is also half of the comedy duo “Garfunkel and Oates,” said the diagnosis was unexpected because she never smoked a cigarette in her life.

“Hey everybody, this is not a TikTok, it’s a ‘Sick Tok,'” Ms. Micucci said in the 1-minute clip. “I’m in the hospital … because I had lung cancer surgery yesterday.”

“They caught it really early,” she added, noting the diagnosis was “pretty weird because I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life.”

“So, you know, it was a surprise. But also I guess it happens and so the greatest news is they caught it early, they got it out, I’m all good.”

In the comments, Ms. Micucci revealed that what prompted her to do a screening was a fan who asked whether she experienced any symptoms, after which she decided to get checked by a doctor.

“I had one thing in my bloodwork that came back really high,” Ms. Micucci said, explaining in a later comment that she had high levels of CRP, which indicated that there was inflammation somewhere.

“So I went to a preventative doc who did a few scans. He scanned my heart and that’s where the spot in my lung was noticed,” she said.

Meanwhile, comedian Tom Green wished Ms. Micucci a speedy recovery in the comments. “Get well soon best wishes and good luck with your recovery,” he wrote.

Concluding the video, which was viewed more than two million times as of Dec. 14, Ms. Micucci said she’s excited to get back to painting.

“It’s been a little bit of a trip, and I’ll probably be moving slow for a few weeks but then I’ll be back at it,” she said. “Can’t wait to be painting more. Which, I’ll be painting soon I think.”

Leading Cause of US Cancer Deaths

Lung cancer, the second most common cancer worldwide, is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, according to the American Lung Association.

The disease was responsible for about 1 in 5 of all cancer fatalities in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), which noted more people succumb to lung cancer annually than to colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.

Although lung cancer is predominantly linked to smoking, and it’s rare to occur in individuals who have never smoked, 10 to 20 percent of cases are nonsmokers. Nonsmoker cases are more prevalent in women and manifest at a younger age compared to those developed by smokers.

According to the ACS, lung cancer in those who don’t smoke can be caused by exposure to radon, secondhand smoke, air pollution, or other factors. Workplace exposure to asbestos, diesel exhaust, or certain other chemicals can also cause lung cancers in some people who don’t smoke.

Meanwhile, a research report published in the International Journal of Cancer found that lung cancer diagnoses among women have risen at significantly higher rates than men of similar age in many high-income countries, including the United States.

“The emerging higher lung cancer incidence rates in young women compared to young men is widespread and not fully explained by sex differences in smoking patterns,” the study authors wrote, noting more research is needed to understand the rising lung cancer rates in young women.

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