Retired teacher believes radon caused her lung cancer
July 13, 2020—Mary Therese Biebel, Times Leader
Therese Inverso doesn’t smoke and her diet is packed with organic edibles — everything from bok choy to arugula to dandelion greens — from her backyard garden.
So the 69-year-old Wilkes-Barre resident was astounded earlier this year when a lump on her forehead and a pain in her hip led her to seek medical attention — and to receive a diagnosis of lung cancer that had spread.
“I’m lucky, though,” said Inverso, a retired teacher who taught music in countries as far away as Jamaica and Iran. “I have the EGFR mutation (that stands for epidermal growth factor receptor and refers to a protein that exists on cell surfaces) and the treatment is to take a pill every day for the rest of my life. That will shrink the tumors.”
While she’s feeling lucky, and still busily harvesting her rye crop and her garlic scapes — so she can use the grain in homemade rye bread and the scapes in homemade pesto — Inverso said earlier this week she wants to make people more aware of radon, an invisible, odorless radioactive gas that the Environmental Protection Agency cites as the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
She admits she can’t prove that’s how she got Stage IV lung cancer; but it’s her strong suspicion. Read More