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Is it true that Radon poisoning Increases Breast Cancer Risk?

Breast cancer is a multifactorial disease. That is, this disease can arise from a number of different causes. For 5-10 percent of the population, it is the result of mutations inherited from the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene or other genetic mutations. "However, for the other 90 percent, breast cancer occurs for other reasons," Dr. J. Jaime Alberty, Dubin Breast Center breast surgery oncologist at Mount Sinai Hospital. Then, is it true that radon chemicals can be one of the originators?

Exposure to negative environmental conditions, lifestyle, personal and family history can be a contributing factor. Because there are so many potential influences on the development of breast cancer during a person's lifetime, it is difficult to point to one thing as the cause of a particular case.

To reduce risk, doctors recommend running a healthy lifestyle, healthy diet, and avoid obesity. In addition, it is also necessary to limit exposure to carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) in the environment, including exposure to radon.

What Is Radon?

According to The National Cancer Institute, radon is a radioactive gas released from the normal decay of elements of uranium, thorium, and radium on rocks and soil.

"Radon can diffuse into ground water, odorless, tasteless, invisible. Radon also does not do what substances do in general, which decomposes and decomposes into new particles," said Dr. David P. Carbone, Director of the Thoracic Center and professor of medicine at Ohio State University.

"One of them is called alpha particles, which are high-energy particles that can do a lot of DNA damage," he added.

Because it is a gas, radon is easily inhaled into the lungs, which has the potential to change your body's DNA repair mechanism. This can lead to the development of tumors and cancer.

Alberty agrees that there is a potential threat to breast cells from radon exposure related to location problems. "Theoretically, the lungs and breasts are adjacent to each other and anatomically adjacent. So it makes sense that radon has the potential to cause DNA problems that can develop into breast cancer."

"However, radon particles do not penetrate very far into the tissue," said Carbone, which is why radon is more likely to cause lung cancer than other cancers.

"When radon is inhaled, the gas in your lungs has the potential to trigger lung cancer. But humans still have a few millimeters of skin before radon gas reaches your breast cells. So in theory, the risk of lung cancer will be greater than cancer. breast, "he explained.

Signs and symptoms of poisoning and radon exposure?

Your radon is around humans. You might even breathe it every day, at a low level. You cannot detect the high levels of radon you breathe. This is what makes radon exposure dangerous, you cannot guess the level in any way. You also will not feel any symptoms if exposed to radon.

When it comes to radon poisoning, the symptoms are similar to lung cancer, namely:

  • Cough that doesn't heal
  • Breathless
  • Chest pain
  • Bleeding cough
  • Wheezing (breath sounds)
  • Hoarseness
  • Repeatedly catch respiratory infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis


There may be signs and symptoms not mentioned above. If you have concerns about a particular symptom, consult your doctor.

Vulnerable to exposure to radon

Until now, there has been little evidence of an association between exposure to radon and breast cancer. What is known today comes from a 2017 study at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. They recorded around 112,000 nurses registered in the Nurses' Health Study II.

Harvard researchers link the incidence of breast cancer with radon exposure maps. As a result, they found no overall association between radon exposure and the risk of developing breast cancer. Even more concerning, high levels of radon are found in settlements, schools and public buildings.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are around 20,000 cases of lung cancer per year in the United States caused by radon exposure. This makes radon the second largest cause of lung cancer, after smoking.

Smokers exposed to radon have a very high risk of lung cancer. Similarly, people work in the basement for mining. And those who work or live in rooms that do not have good ventilation. This group is really vulnerable to exposure to radon, according to Alberty.


How do you deal with poisoning and radon exposure?

There is no therapy that can cure radon poisoning. When a person is suspected of radon poisoning, exposure should be reduced as much as possible to prevent further lung damage. All radon sources must be examined, especially the air in the patient's home. All efforts to minimize radon exposure need to be done.

It is also important to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer, which is the only health condition known to occur due to radon poisoning. You also have to stop smoking to prevent lung cancer caused by radon.

Can trigger breast cancer or not, radon is clearly bad for humans. The simplest way to avoid radon exposure is to always maintain air circulation in the room. Avoid stuffy rooms. In addition, the government also needs to carry out periodic tests. Radon levels in your home, office or school can change over time. In addition, check regularly with your doctor to better monitor your health.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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