Friday, August 26, 2011

Lung Cancer Awareness @lcfamerica

I'm going to get serious about something today....  READ ON.
When you think of lung cancer, who do you picture?  Probably someone resembling the Marlboro Man.  We see it as a 'preventable' cancer, and we tend to feel its victims brought their illness upon themselves... WRONG ANSWER.

While cigarette smoking is one of its leading causes, lung cancer also occurs in people who have never smoked a day in their life, like Dana Reeve, widow of Christopher Reeve, who died at age 44 from the disease.  My grandmother is currently battling advanced lung cancer, and seeing her suffer through treatment is truly agonizing for our entire family... and as I read more about it, the more upset I am that there is such a lack of attention drawn to this specific cancer.

Lung cancer is the LEADING cancer death of both men and women in the United States, killing more people die of lung cancer than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined.  And yet, in part because of the stigma attached to it, research for lung cancer is one of the LEAST FUNDED.

In 2006-2007, the American Cancer Society gave $29 million toward funding breast cancer research, compared to $7.8 million for lung cancer research.  But in 2008, 161,840 people died from lung cancer, compared to 40,480 from breast cancer.  Why the disparity?  Lung cancer is harder to treat than breast cancer, and we don't applaud its survivors in the same way...  I don't mean to belittle those who have survived other types of cancer, but I truly dislike the negative association and lack of awareness people currently have of lung cancer when over a hundred thousand people are dying from the disease annually.

The Lung Cancer Foundation of America was founded by two lung cancer survivors and a lung cancer widow who all came to the realization that the poor survival rate for lung cancer is a direct result of the lack of funding for lung cancer research.  We need to do our part to help LCFA and other research, not just the 'pink ribbon' crusade we see featured so heavily... let's even out the funding and support cancer research overall.

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