Lung cancer, often referred to as the “Invisible Disease,” is generallyasymptomatic. Early Detection Screening for lung cancer has been a topic ofstudies, debates and controversy for over 50 years. The American CancerSociety has yet to endorse definitive screening guidelines.Yet, the majority of lung cancer cases remain undetected or misdiagnosed andadvance to an incurable stage. Most late-stage patients will die within oneyear and only 15 percent survive five years.For those already diagnosed, recent changes in medical guidelines arereducing and denying life-saving scans for the continued monitoring ofmetastasis and recurrence. This places many who already battle this diseaseat lethally high risk of undetected recurrence.With Anti-Smoking campaigns at the forefront of “Support and Awareness”efforts, scant help is offered those devastated by this killer.The stigma that this cancer killer is a “Smokers Disease” is a doubleedged sword — attaching a “blame the victim” mentality to anyone whohas ever smoked and affording non-smokers a false sense of safety. Anyone whohas lungs can get lung cancer.Lung cancer is the top cancer killer in the U.S., killing more peopleannually than breast, colon, liver, kidney, prostate and melanoma cancerscombined. Lung cancer kills twice as many women as breast cancer, yetreceives a fraction of the funding, support and resources afforded othercancers and major diseases. We all need to question the neglect anddiscrimination toward lung cancer.Up to 80 percent of cases that will be diagnosed this year will be neversmokers or people who quit years ago, with an increasing amount of youngnon-smoking women being diagnosed.Please educate yourselves on this disease and think twice before you ask“Did you smoke?” Many have never touched a cigarette in their life andwould prefer a kind word over judgement.Support Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November and please show support forall the courageous people who battle this disease. Thank you.
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