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Radon is Seen as a Leading Factor in Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers

KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

It's the number one killer for cancer, it's not breast cancer, colon cancer or even prostate cancer.

It's lung cancer.

The number of people who die ever year from lung cancer is more than those other cancers combined.

And while studies are still being done to provide a direct link, experts say radon is one of the leading factors in non-smokers getting lung cancer.

B6, Nutrient Slash Lung Cancer Risk

Smokers who have higher levels of vitamin B-6 and certain essential proteins in their blood have a lower risk of getting lung cancer than those deficient in these nutrients, according to a study by cancer specialists.

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Radon, No. 1 Cause Of Lung Cancer In Non-Smokers, Many Unaware

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - For non-smokers in Fort Wayne, avoiding second-hand smoke inhalation has been an achievable goal since the implementation of the city's tough anti-smoking ordinance. But this is not the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and many go unaware.

Radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and one of the greatest causes of lung cancer among all people, second only to smoking itself.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared the week of Oct. 17-24 National Radon Awareness Week. The EPA predicts Radon is a problem in nearly 20 percent of American homes. In 2009 alone, there were 20,000 Radon-induced fatalities.

"It is very surprising ... we do check for everything else, but we've never been aware of radon before," explained a concerned Van Wert mother.

Never Smoked, But at Risk for Lung Cancer?

By Derek Raghavan, M.D., Ph.D

Q: Why do people who never smoke get lung cancer? -- Erin Ryder, Los Angeles

A: Dr. Derek Raghavan, a medical oncologist and chair and director of the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center, responds:

Erin,

That’s a very good question, and there are actually several answers.

Probably the most important issue is that many people who claim not to smoke actually do. But they don’t smoke actively, with a cigarette stuck between their lips. Rather, they are passive smokers. This means that they breathe in the cigarette smoke that is exhaled by others...