While smoking is the No. 1 risk factor for lung cancer, smokers are not the only people who fall prey to this serious disease. Secondhand smoke, exposure to asbestos and radon, air pollution, tuberculosis and genetics can all contribute to a person’s risk for lung cancer.
“There are several environmental factors that can lead to lung cancer,” says Mark A. Meadors, DO, medical oncologist at Saint Francis Medical Center. “Military personnel may have been exposed to chemicals such as Agent Orange, air pollution and materials that contain asbestos.”
Exposure to radon gas is another big risk factor for lung cancer. Radon is produced by the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water, and unsafe levels can accumulate in the air.
“Additionally, if you are routinely exposed to secondhand smoke in your home or at work, you are susceptible to lung cancer,” says Meadors.
For more information, visit our Cancer Institute page.
Free Lung Cancer Screenings
Free annual lung cancer screenings for adults 50 and older are held Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm at Saint Francis Medical Center. An physician’s order is required and should be faxed to 573-331-5030. Call 573-331-5111 for details. Screenings are underwritten by Saint Francis Foundation.