Thank you, Lori, for taking the time to write this blog. Too many of my friends and family members have been affected by lung cancer.
I contacted my Senators and Representative in Washington. Will you?
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Yes, I've blogged it before and I'm blogging it again: if you have lungs, you CAN get lung cancer! And, yes, lung cancer IS a women’s issue and the stigma surrounding it is costing lives every day.
Donna Summer’s recent death is a perfect example of the smoke screen surrounding lung cancer. Her publicist didn’t even want the public to know what kind of cancer she had! Why? Would the response have been the same for breast cancer? Colon cancer?
Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of men and women -- especially women. It kills 80% more women than breast cancer. In fact, it kills more women than breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer combined.
But you don't smoke so why should you care? Because ANYONE can get lung cancer. Two thirds of people battling lung cancer today have never smoked a day in their lives or quit decades before getting cancer. It doesn’t matter if you are 9, 19, 49, or 99 years old, you can get lung cancer.
Over the past 30 years, the smoking rate in this country has dropped by 50% but the rate of lung cancer in women has not dropped one single percent! How can that be? There are different forms of lung cancer and not all of them are closely connected to smoking. The most common of these is called adenocarcinoma and it has been on the rise for decades – especially in women. Many medical professionals now consider it epidemic in women because non-smoking women are far more likely to get lung cancer than non-smoking men. (1 in 5 women have never smoked compared to 1 in 17 men.)
Want to know what’s really scary? Lung cancer is responsible for 30% of deaths by cancer yet it receives LESS THAN 5% of federal funding for cancer research. Perhaps this is why, in the last 30 years, the lung cancer survival rate has gone from a mere 14% to only 16%. During the same time frame, breast cancer survival rates have gone from 16% to 89%! Why? Because women – and men – spoke up about it and insisted that something be done.
It is time to remove the smoke screen surrounding lung cancer and throw away the stigma. Is smoking the leading cause of lung cancer? Yes, absolutely. Is it the only cause? Absolutely not! Even so, we all have bad habits. Should our bad habits be an automatic death sentence?
Would you like to help change the course of this disease? Good. Stalled in congress is a BI-PARTISAN bill (do you believe it?) called the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act. Please urge your congressmen and senators to support this bill. To find out whether or not they have signed on, go to the Lung Cancer Alliance website. And please, the next time someone tells you they have lung cancer, don’t let the first question out of your mouth be, “Do you smoke?” Instead ask, “How can I help?”
If you live in New England and would like a really fun way to help, join us for The Jeni Fund's first PaddleFest in Meredith, NH on Sunday, August 12, 2012. Click here to register.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog!
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