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Lung cancer among Navajo uranium miners. FREE TO VIEW

L S Gottlieb; L A Husen
Chest. 1982;81(4):449-452. doi:10.1378/chest.81.4.449
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Lung cancer has been a rare disease among the Indians of the southwestern United States. However, the advent of uranium mining in the area has been associated with an increased incidence of lung cancer among Navajo uranium miners. This study centers on Navajo men with lung cancer who were admitted to the hospital from February 1965 to May 1979. Of a total of 17 patients with lung cancer, 16 were uranium miners, and one was a nonminer. The mean value of cumulative radon exposure for this group was 1139.5 working level months (WLMs). The predominant cancer type was the small cell undifferentiated category (62.5 percent). The low frequency of cigarette smoking in this group supports the view that radiation is the primary cause of lung cancer among uranium miners and that cigarette smoking acts as a promoting agent.




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