The Pennyrile Area Development District heard from the Kentucky Cancer Program at Monday’s board of directors meeting and learned about the state’s high cancer rates.
Cancer Control Specialist Joan Lang spoke about the four most common cancers in the state, which are breast, colorectal, cervical and lung cancer but she mostly focused on lung cancer. She says those four make up 50 percent of cancer deaths in Kentucky but lung cancer is the number one killer—the death rate beat the national average by 37 percent.
Lung cancer is the most preventable cancer, with factors like smoking and genetics, and there are screenings that can detect it early, which Lang says are likely a contributing factor to the cancer’s declining rates.
She says a factor of lung cancer that many people are unaware of is radon, a radioactive gas that is produced by a certain type of rock as it breaks down.
Christian, Todd, Trigg and Caldwell have larger amounts of the rock that omits radon, so Lang encourages people to get a radon testing kit and test the air in your home.
If the home has high levels of radon, homeowners should contact a radon mitigation specialist to eliminate the problem. Anyone who needs assistance with medical care, support groups, information on health screenings concerning cancer can go online to kycancerprogram.org.