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What You Need to Know for Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Utah Radon Services
October 29, 2022
< 3 min read
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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and there’s no better time for Utahns to learn how they can protect themselves from the leading cause of cancer death. This deadly cancer may be known as a smoker’s disease, but it can also be fatal to those who have never smoked in their life. We’re here to unpack the data so you can keep your loved ones safe at home and prevent a cancer diagnosis. 

Sources: Utah Geological Survey, Center for Diseases Control, Lung Cancer Foundation of America, Lung Cancer Research Foundation, and University of Utah Health

Causes of Cancer in Your Lungs

Smoking is attributed to almost 9 out of 10 lung cancer cases,1 but even exposure to secondhand smoke at home or work increases your risk of getting this cancer by 20–30%.1 Additionally, other risk factors such as radon gas exposure, air pollution, and family history can increase your risk of cancer in your lungs.

Though this cancer is known as a smoker’s disease, it is a significant threat to non-smokers alike. These cancer cases occur in people who have never smoked - even if you have never touched a cigarette, you may still be at significant risk of getting this cancer. 

Radon: The Second Leading Cause of Lung Cancer

The second leading cause of cancer in your lungs is radon gas exposure. Radon gas is created when naturally-occurring radioactive metal deposits underground decay. If radon decay is under a building or home, then radon gas can get trapped within the building and can cause damage to any individual inside. Radon gas is tasteless and scentless so it cannot be detected unless it’s tested for. Long-term exposure to radon gas can cause cancer, and it’s estimated that 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. are the result of radon gas exposure.2

one in three homes have radon

1 in 3 Utah homes has radon levels higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) suggested level of action. In other words, the average indoor radon levels in Utah have the same cancer risk as smoking 10 cigarettes a day. 

Lung Cancer in Utah

It’s estimated that by the end of 2022, 470 people in Utah will die from cancer of the lung and an additional 780 people will receive a cancer diagnosis.3 Although Utah has the lowest percentage of adults who smoke in the nation, there are still many Utahns suffering from cancer in the lungs as a result of environmental factors. 

In Utah, 30% of lung cancer cases occur in nonsmokers,4 and many of these cases can be attributed to radon exposure. Due to the low smoker rate and the initial symptoms aligning with many less-severe illnesses, less than 2% of high-risk Utahns get screened for this cancer and suffer from this preventable illness.1

Preventing Lung Cancer

Although this type of cancer does not have a cure, radon-induced cancer is preventable by conducting a simple radon test in your home. At Utah Radon Services, we offer 1 free radon test per household for all Utahns to take a step toward preventing needless deaths from this cancer.

radon cancer

Click here or call 801-871-0715 to get your free radon test today. 

 

Sources

1 - American Lung Association, State of Lung Cancer, https://www.lung.org/research/state-of-lung-cancer/states/utah

2 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, What Is Lung Cancer?, https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/basic_info/what-is-lung-cancer.htm

3- Cancer Statistics Center, https://cancerstatisticscenter.cancer.org/#!/state/Utah

4 - University of Utah Health, Dr. Carr, Non-Smoking Causes of Lung Cancer - Non-Smoking Causes

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