Are Smokers Really More at Risk of Lung Cancer After Being Exposed to Radon?

Radon denver

Local radon testing should be done periodically if you want to avoid the side effects of radon gas. What is radon? It is a radioactive gas that naturally occurs. It comes about when uranium begins to breakdown. It can usually be found in igneous rock as well as soil and sometimes in water. There have been a lot of studies that show that lung cancer is one of the main side effects of radon. There are problematic and often fatal side effects to radon which is why residential radon testing services should be no stranger to you. For the purpose of this article, let’s focus on the lung cancer side effect. There have been reports that smokers are at higher risk of lung cancer after being exposed to radon than non smokers here. Here are a few of the facts…

We already know that lung cancers kill thousands of people every year in America. The leading causes of lung cancer are smoking, radon and then secondhand smoke which is breathing in the smoke of someone else’s cigarette. If caught soon enough, lung cancer is treatable. Even so, lung cancer has a very low survival rate. Somewhere between 11% and 15% of people suffering from lung cancer will survive past five years. In many cases, lung cancer could be avoided all together. For example, if a person doesn’t smoke, isn’t around those who smoke and gets radon testing done periodically.

Smoking
Smoking is the number cause of lung cancer. There are an average of 160,000 deaths caused by cancer due to smoking every single year. There have been warnings about the links between smoking and lung cancer since the beginning of 1964. In this day and age, lung cancer has passed breast cancer as the number one cause of death in females. Now, someone who smokes as well as is exposed to high levels of radon is at an even higher risk of lung cancer.

Radon
Among non smokers, radon is the number one cause of lung cancer; even higher than second hand smoke. Among smokers and non smokers alike, radon is ranked as the second leading cause. An estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year are caused by exposure to radon. Of that 21,000, 2,900 of those have never smoked anything in their lives. It has only been since 2005 that there has been a warning on the links between radon and lung cancer.

Secondhand Smoke
This is the third leading cause of long cancer. Each year, there are an estimated amount of 3,000 deaths caused by lung cancer because of secondhand smoke. People inhale second hand smoke when they are around people who are smoking or when people are smoking near them. For children, second hand smoke can have serious and potentially fatal consequences. There have been links found to asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections and even to ear infection.

Of people who smoke and are exposed to radon about 62 in every 1,000 will die of lung cancer. Of non smokers who are exposed to radon about 7.3 in every 1,000 will die of lung cancer. That is quite a significant difference. Another statistic says that someone who has never smoked and is exposed to radon has a two in 1,000 chance of even getting lung cancer. Meanwhile a smoker exposed to the same amount of radon as a 20 in 1,000 chance. The combined effects of smoking and radon is what highers the risk. A smoker’s lungs are already so weak and damaged from the effect of smoking for any period of time. If those same lungs are exposed to radon they will not be able to fight back as much as a non smoker’s lungs would.

This is why radon testing is so important. Whether you smoke or not, there is still a chance that if you are exposed to a certain amount of radon then you will contract lung cancer. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to these kinds of things. You might as well get the testing done and eliminate any chance of lung cancer at all.

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