Lung cancer kills thousands of Americans every year. The untimely deaths of Peter Jennings and
Dana Reeve have raised public awareness about lung cancer, especially among people who have never smoked. Smoking,
radon, and secondhand smoke are the leading causes of lung cancer. Although lung cancer can be treated, the survival
rate is one of the lowest for those with cancer. From the time of diagnosis, between 11 and 15 percent of those afflicted
will live beyond five years, depending upon demographic factors. In many cases lung cancer can be prevented; this is
especially true for radon.
Exposure to Radon Causes Lung Cancer In Non-smokers
and Smokers Alike
Liz Hoffman Providing A Voice To Stop the
Nation's 2nd Leading Cause of Lung Cancer writes:
One in five
people diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked.
Prevention for your family starts with a
simple test of your home.
My name is Elizabeth Hoffmann and I’m a survivor of radon
induced lung cancer. Although, I have never smoked, my 15-year exposure to dangerous levels of radon in my home resulted in
doctors having to remove the cancerous lower lobe of my left lung prior to my 38th birthday.
for me, they caught my cancer early. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and EPA blame radon for the deaths of 21,000 Americans
every year. But, their deaths, like my cancer, could have been prevented. A simple radon test at the time we bought our home
in 1988 would have alerted me to fix our house before we moved in. If I’d only known...
few oncologists provide a potential explanation for the cause, most non-smokers diagnosed with lung cancer never make a connection
to radon exposure. I would remain clueless myself, if it hadn’t been for the determination of my family to find out
why. My cousin mentioned radon to my father, who tested my house upon my return from the hospital.
purpose of this website is two-fold: First, to put a face on radon, empowering sufferers of an apparent radon-induced lung
cancer (and their families) with a voice. While it is obviously too late to prevent our cancer, our stories can convince others
to prevent deadly radon exposure by testing and fixing. We can also shape public policy by convincing lawmakers and government
agencies to treat the radon issue and lung cancer with the seriousness they deserve.
to prevent LC victims from remaining clueless. If you or a family member has been recently diagnosed with lung cancer, it
is imperative that you test your home for radon.
If you determine radon is the likely cause of
your lung cancer, we’ll simply invite you to come forward and share your story. Together, we can make a difference for
generations to come.
Doctors Warn of the Need For Prevention
come into my office and say Doc Price I just don’t understand it. How can this happen to me? I don’t smoke. Nobody
ever smokes around me. How can I have lung cancer?
While it is true that most of my lung cancer
patients have had a lot of tobacco exposure, the ones that are especially sad are the people who have never smoked, have never
been around secondhand smoke, who have lived “good clean lives” and lo and behold, they have a cold or bronchitis,
and the chest x-ray and the cat scan show they have lung cancer.
But, it is really hard to convince
the public that radon is a problem when the nation’s leading housing authority, HUD, refuses to take action to prevent
radon exposure. They require a termite letter to qualify for a mortgage, yet to my knowledge a termite never killed anybody.
Why are they not requiring a radon test?
We know the direct association between radon and lung
cancer. But to the people at risk, it’s a totally unperceivable problem because you can’t feel it; you don’t
smell it and you don’t see it.
Lung cancer kills more Americans each year (160,000) than
breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined. The EPA estimates 21,000 of them are the result of radon-induced lung cancer.
That’s nearly 60 per day!”
Never underestimate the importance of prevention in all
aspects of your life. If you’re a lung cancer victim aware of all the ways it is impacting you and your family –
you’d be kicking yourself if you knew something a simple as a radon detection device would have allowed you to prevent
this from occurring.
Please contact us at All Stucco and Mold Inspections today 770 590-7880
and schedule a Radon test.
Where Does Radon Come From?
a naturally occurring odorless, tasteless, colorless radioactive gas. It is produced by the natural breakdown of radium in
soil, rock and water. Many homes and other buildings, such as schools and offices have high levels of radon. Because it's
odorless and invisible and the lung cancer usually shows up over a long period of exposure, the danger of radon is often underestimated.
Because of the stack effect, radon can be drawn into the home from the soil below. Common entry
points are cracks in concrete floors, utility access points, spaces around floor drains, sump pits, construction joints and
tiny cracks in basement walls. The concentration will depend on the source strength and the rate of pressure driven entry.
How Does Radon Induce Lung Cancer?
If inhaled, airborne radon decay
products become deeply lodged or trapped in the lungs, where the alphas radiate and penetrate the cells of the mucous membranes,
bronchi, and other pulmonary tissues.
The ionizing radiation energy affecting the bronchial epithelial
cells is believed to initiate the process of the carcinogenesis. Although, radon-related lung cancers are mainly seen in the
upper airways, radon increases the incidence of all histological types of lung cancer, including small cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma,
and squamous cell carcinoma.
What is The Evidence?
More is known
about the health risk of radon exposure than almost any other human carcinogen. In fact, the University of Iowa College of
Public Health recently compiled a bibliography of radon epidemiology research that took 192 pages just to list!
These include extensive studies of thousands of underground miners, carried out over more than 50 years worldwide,
that have consistently shown an increase in lung cancer occurrence with exposure to radon progeny.
studies have produced some interesting findings. For example, at equal cumulative exposures, low exposures in the range of
EPA’s 4 pCi/L Action Level over longer periods produced greater lung cancer risk that high exposures over short periods.
Non-smoking miners were observed to have a significant increased risk, even after controlling for, or in the absence of other
mine exposures such as asbestos, silica, diesel fumes, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and ore dust. An added synergic effect between
radon exposure and cigarette smoking was also found.
The NAS has repeatedly concluded that it
is reasonable to extrapolate from the miner data to a residential situation and in doing so, consider that the effective doses
per unit of exposure for people in homes is approximately 30% less than for the miners.
studies have yielded similar findings. The Iowa Residential Radon Study completed in May of 2000 determined that even at the
EPA Action Level of 4 pCi/L, an approximate 50 percent excess lung cancer risk was found among the women in the study after
correcting for the impact of smoking. A 2002 residential study conducted in northeast Spain yielded similar results. Even
at concentrations far below official guideline levels, the Spanish study found that radon might lead to a 2.5-fold rise in
the risk of lung cancer.
Exposures of animals further confirm that radon and its progeny cause
lung cancer. Health effects observed in animals exposed to radon include lung carcinomas, pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema, and
a shortening of life span. The incidence of respiratory tract tumors increased with an increase in cumulative exposure. Exposure
to ore dust and diesel fumes simultaneously with radon did not increase the incidence of lung tumors above that produced by
radon progeny exposures alone. In a study of rats exposed to radon progeny, it was observed that the risk of lung cancer was
elevated at exposure levels similar to those found in homes.
Can High Radon Levels Be Reduced?
A certified or licensed contractor can easily and affordably reduce elevated radon levels. Most
techniques prevent radon from entering your home by drawing the radon from below the house and venting it through a pipe to
the air above the house where it quickly dilutes.
Mitigation can also decrease moisture and other
soil gases entering the home, reducing mold, mildew, methane, pesticide gases and other air quality problems.
Facts About Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United
Lung cancer kills more Americans each year than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers
Lung cancer kills more women each year than breast cancer.
cancer kills 85% of newly diagnosed patients within five years.
Approximately 50% of the people
diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked or are former smokers.
Lung cancer gets few of the
research dollars because of the perception it is self-inflicted by smoking.
In 2003, approximately
$1,740 was spent on research per lung cancer death, compared with: $13,649 per breast cancer death, $10,560 per prostate cancer
death and $4,581 per colorectal cancer death