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Rethinking Cancer Prevention: The Urgent Need for Clean Indoor Air

Tony Leigh

Investor Relations

Lit cigarette sitting on a ledge.

Many believe prevention of late stage cancer hinges on early detection. But what if the true frontline for cancer prevention lay right under our noses - the air we breathe indoors?

In this article, we refer to a TED talk given by Jorge Soto, co-founder of San Francisco-based Miroculus, a life sciences company specializing in early detection of cancer through microRNA testing.

In his talk, Jorg referred to his aunt in Mexico, a lifelong athlete and non-smoker who had received a shocking stage 3 lung cancer diagnosis. It certainly wasn't her lifestyle that put her at risk, but very likely our invisible enemy - contaminated indoor air.

The truth is, indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and given that we spend up to 90% of our lives indoors, we are constantly exposed to pollutants that accumulate in buildings and silently increase our cancer risk.

This could well be a personal story for all of us – as Jorge noted, one in three individuals will face a cancer diagnosis in their lives, and one in four will succumb to it.

So while early detection through Jorge's ground-breaking medical solution has huge merit, it is also important to prioritize prevention by improving Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). By filtering out harmful contaminants, we not only protect ourselves but also alleviate the immense burden that such chronic illnesses place on healthcare systems.

Let's shift the paradigm and reexamine our approach to cancer by prioritizing clean indoor air, so that we can all breathe easier - literally and figuratively.

The Hidden Dangers of Indoor Air Pollution

While significant progress has been made in understanding the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to cancer, IAQ has crucially been overlooked.

Indoor air pollution (IAP) is a pervasive problem affecting millions of people, exposing us all to a cocktail of pollutants that can have devastating effects on our health. These include particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can come from a variety of sources.

The Cancer Connection

Research is increasingly pointing to a significant correlation between IAP and cancer.

A recent study published in the Journal of Environmental Health shows that women who lived in homes with poor IAQ were more likely to develop breast cancer. Similarly, a study in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology showed that exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) indoors was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.

The Urgent Need for Change

The fight against cancer is far from over. As we continue to explore new testing regimes, treatments and therapies, it's essential that we also prioritize prevention. By acknowledging the critical role of IAQ in cancer prevention, we can take concrete steps to reduce our exposure to pollutants and protect our health.

In the words of Dr. Richard Wilson, a renowned environmental health expert, "The fight against cancer is not just about treating cancer patients; it's about preventing cancer from occurring in the first place."

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