Navigating Lung Cancer Navigating Lung Cancer - Page 13

Researchers are learning that certain genetic mutations are linked to lung cancer. Mutations are genes that work differently than their “normal” versions. People who have those genes may be more likely to get lung cancer. Having one of these genes may be why some nonsmokers get lung cancer. Other harmful substances can also cause lung cancer. Radon is a naturally occurring odorless, tasteless, invisible radioactive gas. People exposed to high radon levels are more likely to get lung cancer. In fact, radon exposure is a leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Radon levels can be high in underground mines. They are also high in tightly sealed, poorly ventilated homes, generally those with basements. Exposure to asbestos, a mineral-based substance once used in insulation and building construction, can cause lung cancer, especially in smokers. Air pollution has also been linked to lung cancer. 11