About 222,250 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in the United
States this year. Approximately 157,300 were expected to die from lung
cancer in 2010. Although the disease is serious, there are more than 400,000
lung cancer survivors alive today.
Shamus Carr, M.D. Huntsman Cancer Institute
Smoking and Lung Cancer
About 85%-90% of all lung cancer deaths are thought to result from smoking.
That means that as many as 15% of lung cancers happen in people who have
never smoked or lived with a smoker.
Smoking increases the effects of other risk factors for lung cancer.
Non-Smokers and Lung Cancer
Lung cancer in a non-smoker often behaves differently than lung cancer in a
Lung cancer in a non-smoker occurs at a younger age, more often in females
and often at a more advanced stage.
A non-smoker who lives with a smoker has about a 20%-30% greater risk of
developing lung cancer.
Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas is the second leading cause of
Cancer caused by radon claims about 20,000 lives annually.
Radon is an odorless and colorless radioactive gas that can be found in
homes and buildings. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is
found in the soil and can enter homes through cracks in the foundation.
· In Utah, 30% of homes have radon levels in excess of the EPA
recommended action level of 4 picoCuries of radon per liter of air (pCi/L).
The only way to know if a home has dangerous levels of radon is to test.
Reducing Your Risk of Lung Cancer
Don’t smoke, quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke
Get your home tested for radon
Avoid carcinogens at work. Your employer must tell you if you’re exposed to
dangerous chemicals in your workplace. Always follow your employer’s safety
If you are a heavy smoker, talk to your doctor about the new lung cancer
screening guidelines from NCCN that recommend low-dose spiral CT
scanning for high-risk individuals.
For more information about lung cancer, contact the Cancer Learning Center
at Huntsman Cancer Institute at 801-581-6365 or toll free