Lung cancer not just a risk for smokers, studies show
Published 14/05/2013 | 05:00
AROUND 10-15pc of people who develop lung cancer do not smoke and although the full reasons for this are not clear some risk factors are known about.
One of the risks is exposure to radon gas and it can leave some householders vulnerable to the disease. Dr Judith Lyons and Dr Finbarr O'Connell, of St James's Hospital in Dublin, said "numerous studies involving miners who were exposed to increased levels of radon, as well as studies involving the general public in their own homes, show a significant association between lung cancer and radon independent of smoking status".
Exposure to radon gas has the same effects as smoking dozens of cartons of cigarettes. It affects lung tissue and shows up as cancer.
Someone who has been exposed with high levels of radon gas will show signs of bronchitis or pneumonia, wheezing, heavy breath, and infections.
Other risks include second-hand smoke but the "ban in all workplaces in Ireland should help to reduce the exposure of non-smokers to the harmful effects of cigarettes".
Other risks include certain substances, such as paint, paint thinners, smoke soot and exhaust fumes, which some employees are exposed to.
There may be a history of another lung disease, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema, they wrote in the journal, 'Hospital Doctor of Ireland'.