Radon is seen as a leading factor in lung cancer in non-smokers - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Radon is seen as a leading factor in lung cancer in non-smokers

Posted: Updated:

It's the number one killer for cancer, it's not breast cancer, colon cancer or even prostate cancer.

It's lung cancer.

The number of people who die ever year from lung cancer is more than those other cancers combined.

And while studies are still being done to provide a direct link, experts say radon is one of the leading factors in non-smokers getting lung cancer.

Three-time cancer survivor Matt Ellefson said "because you can't see it, you can't smell it, you can't taste it, people don't take it as serious."

Some non-smokers may get lung cancer from second hand smoke but Ellefson knows firsthand about the dangers of radon gas.

"Radon gas is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. although i don't know if there's real definitive proof, but that's what they think caused my cancer," Ellefson said.

And Ellefson is not alone.

"Since i was diagnosed with cancer, i've had the opportunity to meet a lot of other survivors like myself and a lot of them being non-smokers. i've watched them suffer, and unfortunately, i've watched some of them not make it," Ellefson said.

Ellefson's physician, doctor Heidi McKean maintains smoking is still the number one cause but people who never smoked a day in their life can still get lung cancer.

"In those patients who are non-smokers that get lung cancer, they're really concerned what happened, was it second-hand smoke or was it radon," Dr. McKeen said.

Some experts may disagree whether radon actually causes lung cancer but Dr. McKean advises getting your home tested to help reduce the risk.

"It's a concern for the public because we know that radon can accumulate in the soil, in the ground water and people's homes, so we look at reasons for what are the causes of lung cancer," Dr. McKean said.

And you can pick up a radon home test kit at a local hardware store.

The Environmental Protection Agency advises getting your home fixed or mitigated for radon if you have over a level of 4.

The EPA estimates radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

  • Despite rain, LifeLight Festival attracts thousands

    Despite rain, LifeLight Festival attracts thousands

    Sunday, August 31 2014 12:58 AM EDT2014-08-31 04:58:26 GMT
    The community of Worthing is drawing hundreds of thousands this weekend for the 17th annual LifeLight Music Festival -- from Skillet to Michael W. Smith, Sanctus Real and Colton Dixon -- the festival is bringing some big-name Christian artists to our areaThe community of Worthing is drawing hundreds of thousands this weekend for the 17th annual LifeLight Music Festival -- from Skillet to Michael W. Smith, Sanctus Real and Colton Dixon -- the festival is bringing some big-name Christian artists to our area
     The community of Worthing is drawing hundreds of thousands this weekend for the 17th annual LifeLight Music Festival -- from Skillet to Michael W. Smith, Sanctus Real and Colton Dixon -- the festival is bringing some big-name Christian artists to our area.  More >>
     The community of Worthing is drawing hundreds of thousands this weekend for the 17th annual LifeLight Music Festival -- from Skillet to Michael W. Smith, Sanctus Real and Colton Dixon -- the festival is bringing some big-name Christian artists to our area.  
    More >>
  • Thousands raised for disabled veterans at charity poker run

    Thousands raised for disabled veterans at charity poker run

    Sunday, August 31 2014 12:30 AM EDT2014-08-31 04:30:24 GMT
    The South Dakota Army National Guard's 727th Transportation Company and the group Disabled American Veterans held their 10th annual charity poker run.More >>
    The South Dakota Army National Guard's 727th Transportation Company and the group Disabled American Veterans held their 10th annual charity poker run.More >>
  • Little SD-owned publishing house earns Wilder book

    Little SD-owned publishing house earns Wilder book

    Saturday, August 30 2014 1:12 PM EDT2014-08-30 17:12:00 GMT
    The South Dakota State Historical Society Press plans to publish "Pioneer Girl: An Annotated Autobiography" this November.More >>
    The South Dakota State Historical Society Press plans to publish "Pioneer Girl: An Annotated Autobiography" this November.More >>
  • Sioux Falls ranked high for job seekers over 50

    Sioux Falls ranked high for job seekers over 50

    Saturday, August 30 2014 1:01 PM EDT2014-08-30 17:01:57 GMT
    A social media and marketing company ranked Sioux Falls among the best U.S. cities for people looking for a job who are older than 50.More >>
    A social media and marketing company ranked Sioux Falls among the best U.S. cities for people looking for a job who are older than 50.More >>
  • New High School brings bright future for Gettysburg

    New High School brings bright future for Gettysburg

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:48 PM EDT2014-08-30 01:48:30 GMT
    Students at Gettysburg started school this week with a brand new building.More >>
    Students at Gettysburg started school this week with a brand new building.More >>
  • Ukrainian Americans say U.S. needs to step in now

    Ukrainian Americans say U.S. needs to step in now

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:29 PM EDT2014-08-30 00:29:32 GMT
    The unrest continues in Ukraine -- as Russia's involvement is becoming much clearer. For Ukrainian Americans here in South Dakota, it's hard to watch the images on television in their home country.The unrest continues in Ukraine -- as Russia's involvement is becoming much clearer. For Ukrainian Americans here in South Dakota, it's hard to watch the images on television in their home country.
    The unrest continues in Ukraine -- as Russia's involvement is becoming much clearer. For Ukrainian Americans here in South Dakota, it's hard to watch the images on television in their home country.More >>
    The unrest continues in Ukraine -- as Russia's involvement is becoming much clearer. For Ukrainian Americans here in South Dakota, it's hard to watch the images on television in their home country.More >>
  • Senegal confirms first Ebola case

    Senegal confirms first Ebola case

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:04 GMT
    The West African country of Senegal has confirmed its first Ebola case one week after closing its border with Guinea over fears that the deadly outbreak could spread, the Senegalese Press Agency reported Friday.More >>
    The West African country of Senegal has confirmed its first Ebola case one week after closing its border with Guinea over fears that the deadly outbreak could spread, the Senegalese Press Agency reported Friday.More >>
  • South Dakota, other states settle lawsuit against Omnicare

    South Dakota, other states settle lawsuit against Omnicare

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:30 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:30:39 GMT
    The state's attorney general says South Dakota has recovered more than $170,000 after settling a whistle blower lawsuit with a Cincinnati-based company that allegedly engaged in a kickback scheme with skilled-nursing facilities nationally.More >>
    The state's attorney general says South Dakota has recovered more than $170,000 after settling a whistle blower lawsuit with a Cincinnati-based company that allegedly engaged in a kickback scheme with skilled-nursing facilities nationally.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.