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Connie Alexakos

Connie Alexakos - Community advocate and non-smoking lung cancer survivor

Connie's story

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My name is Connie Alexakos. I live in Kamas, Utah. I was having some health issues. I was coughing a lot and went to my GP [general practitioner] and he tested me. I've had allergies my whole life, and we thought it was allergies so we kept testing. I went on a trip to Europe, to Greece, actually and came back and was really coughing hard, so I called my doctor and said, I got to figure this out. I can't cough like this. I finally got to a CT scan and my GP called me immediately and said, ‘You've got to go up to Huntsman, this is more serious. This is not allergies.’ How could I have gotten this? She said, “Well, the number one cause of lung cancer not related to smoking is radon.” Because I've never smoked and I went, “You're kidding. What?” 

How come I'd never heard about this - didn't know anything about it. I wished I had known that it was so prevalent in Utah. If somebody hasn't said to you, you have stage four cancer, you don't think it's that important. To know that it [radon] is the number one cause of cancer, lung, non smoking related lung cancer. And by the time you know about it, and do something about it, it could be way too late. If I'd known about this at stage one, it could have been a much easier, much easier way to treat it. And it doesn't guarantee that you're going to live a longer life but who knows how long I will live.

-- Connie Alexakos - Community advocate and non-smoking stage four lung cancer survivor

(For more information on Radon visit the EPA.)

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