it's worth remembering that the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. is exposure to radon : 9/22/205 TIME
From the Magazine | Your Time
By SANJAY GUPTA
Posted Sunday, Aug. 14, 2005
It was unsettling enough that ABC anchorman Peter Jennings died of lung cancer just four months after announcing his diagnosis. Perhaps more distressing to the 90 million--plus smokers and former smokers out there was that Jennings swore off tobacco 20 years ago and was struck by the disease all the same. .........................
Hard on the heels of Jennings' death was the mind-numbing announcement that Dana Reeve, widow of actor Christopher Reeve and a nonsmoker, has lung cancer. It was a sobering reminder that about 15% of lung-cancer victims have never smoked.
In cases like those, the disease might simply be due to poor genetics, but it's worth remembering that the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. is exposure to radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas. The government estimates that 1 in 15 U.S. homes has radon levels that are too high. The best advice is to have your home tested. If you are worried that you might have symptoms of lung cancer-- such as a persistent cough, especially with blood-tinged sputum, or unintentional weight loss--get a checkup.
And, of course, if you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, quit. Now is the best time.
Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon and CNN medical correspondent
From the Aug. 22, 2005 issue of TIME magazine