Is Lung Cancer the Deadliest?
Responsible for 1/4 of all cancer fatalities, it is said to be the deadliest.
Not only is it the quickest to kill, it is also the toughest to endure with regards to shame and stigma. Lung cancer patients take a beating when it comes to criticism for why and how they came to be sick in the first place.
All contradictory beliefs and automatic insinuations aside, the reality is that cigarette smokers are not the only people to become ill with lung cancer, and tobacco is not the only cause.
Despite the high rate of people who immediately link lung cancer to smoking, the amount of research that goes into finding a cure is severely lower than that of others such as breast cancer.
Sadly, more than 228,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year alone.
Because of the shame that comes with lung cancer, many sufferers endure it on their own in isolation. One in particular, a woman named Judy, said she was bearing the burden alone because she was ashamed to admit the diagnosis to her loved ones. This reactionary silence is all too common amongst lung cancer patients.
The major issue with lung cancer is that society has concluded it to be the result of people's bad habits, and that this forbidden behavior, aka smoking, is obviously going to result in lung cancer, so those diagnosed somehow deserve it.
Try it out. Tell a friend you just heard that someone was diagnosed with lung cancer. Their reaction will more than likely include, "Did s/he smoke?" Repeat the question, except replace "lung" with "breast," and you'll receive a whole new, much more sympathetic and emotional response.
All the while, lung cancer kills twice the amount of women as breast cancer does, and three times the number of men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The shocking truth is that more than half-- a whopping 60 percent-- of lung cancer patients hardly-to-never smoked at all.
With November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month, perhaps we can shift this shame, blame, and staggering stigma.