I went to Mom and Dad's house last night for a Father's Day BBQ and while I was there my mom was telling me about an article she had just read in the July addition of her REDBOOK magazine. She mentioned how ironic it was that she just started getting the magazine last month, yet right on the cover of July's issue was an article called "Women and Cancer, the #1 killer isn't what you think." I stopped what I was doing so mom could read me the article. The things she read initially made me sad... but then they began to make me mad. Here are a few of the statistics the article listed:
-Lung Cancer is the #1 killer in both men and women in the United States.
-Lung Cancer kills more women than breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers combined. 72,130 women in the U.S. will die of it this year alone.
- 41% of all lung cancer cases occur in women who have not yet reached their 50th birthday.
-20% of women sufferers have never smoked.
-Deaths from lung cancer among women skyrocketed more than 600% in the last 50 years.
-Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDP) spent $204 million on breast and cervical cancer research, but not a cent on lung cancer.
After hearing the statistics in mom's magazine I decided to do some research of my own. I found the same alarming statistics in other publications. Lung Cancer is the deadliest cancer yet it is woefully underfunded, so help is not on the way. Here are more statistics I have found:
-Though lung cancer is deadlier to women than other types of cancer, breast cancer gets almost 10 times more research funding per death than lung cancer, because lung cancer is considered the "guilty cancer."
-Offspring of non-smoking, lung cancer patients have a 2-fold greater risk for developing other types of cancer.
-Relatives of non-smoking, lung cancer patients have a 68 percent increased risk of developing lung cancer.
The hardest part for me to understand and the part that makes me mad is the fact very little is being done to find a cure for lung cancer. Something has to be done to change the stigma that surrounds this disease. Unfortunatly for these victims, their disease is associated with smoking and that will continue to lessen their chances for adequate research. Cancer is a sad enough disease as it is, but imagine being diagnosed and then immediately having a stigma attached to you as if you did it to yourself. Something needs to be done and more people need to be held accountable for the inadequate funding set aside for the deadliest of all cancers.