Document Type : Commentary


1 Department of Radiology, School of Paramedical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 MVLS College, The University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

3 Department of Pediatric Infection Control, School of Medicine, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran

4 Ionizing and Nonionizing Radiation Protection Research Center (INIRPRC), Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

5 Department of Radiation Physics, Technische Universität Wien, Atominstitut, 1040 Vienna, Austria

6 Department of Radiation Dosimetry, Nuclear Physics Institute of the CAS, 25068 Prague, Czech Republic

7 Department of Physics, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA


According to a NIH study, Lung cancer among individuals who have never smoked is more prevalent in women and occurs at an earlier age than in smokers. The rise in lung cancer rates among female non-smokers might be linked to radon inhalation and should be further investigated. Our theory is based on the differences in radon exposure between males and females, which can be attributed to the variations in time spent indoors versus outdoors. Over the past few years, the smoking rates have shown a steady decline in the United States and other developed countries. This decrease in smoking prevalence has led to a new shift in the primary risk factors associated with lung cancer. Although tobacco smoke historically served as the primary cause of lung cancer, the reduction in smoking rates has allowed other risk factors, such as radon exposure, to come to the forefront. Given that women in certain countries, on average, might spend more time indoors compared to men, they are potentially exposed to higher levels of radon. This increased exposure could explain the rising rates of lung cancer among female non-smokers. The theory is still in its nascent stages and requires further research and validation. However, if proven correct, it could significantly alter our understanding of lung cancer risk factors and lead to new prevention. It is therefore crucial to expedite the review and publication of this theory, given its potential implications for public health.