Woman with lung cancer linked to radon exposure becomes advocate for home testing

After receiving a lung cancer diagnosis in December 2011 following years of exposure to radon, Kentucky resident Lois Dees has become an advocate for home testing for the radioactive gas. 

According to a University of Kentucky News press release, Dees knew that her house of 11 years was in a high-risk area, but didn't do anything about it until it was too late. Being a non-smoker, she said she never imagined that she would have to worry about lung cancer, but when she started dealing with a persistent cough that didn't respond to typical remedies, she knew something was wrong. A few months later, Dees was diagnosed with the potentially deadly disease and began undergoing chemotherapy to treat it.

Shortly after she went into remission and thought she was getting better, doctors found two new tumors. Currently, Dees is enrolled in a clinical trial at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and is spending part of her free time trying to promote radon awareness.

"I understand that checking for radon levels is not a top priority for many people because it wasn't for me," said Dees. "Most of us are very conscientious about having smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in our homes. Having a radon test is also vitally important, as I have learned the hard way. I encourage people to get a test kit and check the radon level in their homes."

If you want to have your home inspected for signs of this deadly gas, it's a good idea to reach out to a home inspection contractor. These professionals will conduct radon testing at your current property and determine if you are safe. Additionally, it's essential to get a house inspected before you buy it, since it's impossible for the untrained eye to pick up on these kinds of hazards.