Effects of radon exposure on NSCLC patient

Portal Forums Lung/Thoracic Cancer Screening / Prevention Effects of radon exposure on NSCLC patient

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Caregiver_56 1 year, 9 months ago.

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August 25, 2016 at 7:36 am  #1288432    


My family member was diagnosed with metastatic NSCLC (adenocarcinoma) in December 2015.

She has stayed with me periodically (for months to several weeks at a time) during her treatment.

I have a radon remediation system in my basement that I recently had checked to make sure it was working correctly.

With the system working, the basement level (which is only used to do laundry) measures in the 2.0 pCi/L range.

I was surprised, however, that the upstairs (where everyone spends time) measures in the 1.0 pCi/L range.

My question is whether a person who is being treated for lung cancer is more vulnerable to effects of radon–and whether being exposed throughout the day at the 1.0 pCi/L level is harmful to her and/or could possibly interfere with the success of her treatment.

Thanks very much!


August 25, 2016 at 8:13 am  #1288433    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

Hi Caregiver_56,

There’s really no evidence to conclusively answer your question. It’s often stated that any level of radon exposure carries with it a risk of lung cancer, which increases with the amount of exposure. Othe average radon level in outdoor air is usually given at 0.4 pCi/L. In addition, as with any carcinogen, prolonged exposure is what produces significant damage and causes disease. As you’ve probably read, the EPA threshold for recommended amelioration is anything above 4.0 pCi/L, while the World Health Organization uses 2.7 pCi/L as its lower limit. Both stress that any amount of radon carries risk. Dr. Sanborn’s post on radon and lung cancer may be helpful.

There’s no trial evidence to show whether exposure to relatively low levels of radon after a lung cancer diagnosis is a significant problem. What risk exists would be for developing a new lung cancer after a period of prolonged exposure to the radon. That period can’t be quantified precisely, though it would be presumed to be a matter of years rather than weeks or months.

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Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Tarceva maintenance
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
Since then: http://cancergrace.org/blog/jim-and-lisa

August 25, 2016 at 12:58 pm  #1288436    


Thanks so much, JimC. Appreciate your thoughts on this and the link to Dr. Sanborn’s post.


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