Preventing Lung Cancer

Using tobacco is, by far, the greatest risk factor for lung cancer, and the risk continually increases the longer a person uses tobacco and the more they use. Tobacco use includes smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes and also includes chewing tobacco.

Not smoking or chewing tobacco is the best way to prevent the disease. In fact, people who quit using tobacco continue to reduce their risk for lung cancers as they continue to age. For example, quitting tobacco for 10 years reduces your lung cancer risk by about 50 percent. That risk decreases even further the longer you don’t use tobacco.

According to the Surgeon General National Health Advisory on Radon, indoor radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is suspected to be the major cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and a significant factor in smokers, causing approximately 21,000 deaths from lung cancer per year according to the EPA. High, unsafe levels of radon gas is common in the rock, soil and ground-water in all 88 counties of Ohio, and in many other parts of the United States. When radon gas percolates up from the ground and is trapped in occupied buildings such as homes, schools and workplaces, dangerous levels can accumulate. The EPA recommends mitigation if levels are over 4 pCi/L, but levels lower than this are likely also unsafe, especially over 2.7 pCi/L. It is required by Ohio state law for home sellers to disclose known radon levels, but testing is not mandated, and no testing or disclosure is required for renters. Radon testing is also not required in schools or other public buildings, and the majority of new construction does not have to be radon resistant. Thus it is up to individual residents to test and mitigate to reduce lung cancer risk. For more information, visit the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) free test kit website.

Learn more about lung cancer screening.

If you have received a lung cancer diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a lung cancer specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment. 

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