Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Stigma Disease

No, I'm not talking about an STD. I've just read that someone else famous has lung cancer! Dana Reeve, the recent widow of Superman's Christopher Reeve, just yesterday disclosed that she has the disease. She's only 44. And, like my dad, she's never been a smoker! (Peter Jennings--8/8 post--had been a heavy smoker.) "Ten to 15 percent of lung cancer victims are nonsmokers and women in that group are twice as likely to get the disease than men who don't smoke. Radon gas, passive smoking, genetics and pollution are some of the causes among nonsmokers." (I remember the hospice nurse telling us that Dad probably had a gene for the disease.)

What most alarms me is finding out that almost twice as many women die of lung cancer than breast cancer but the disease receives 10 times less funding per death than breast cancer in the U.S. WHY? "A lot of people will not come out of the woodwork because they feel like it's a self-inflicted disease and there is a stigma."

This morning I also read that two types of skin cancer have nearly tripled among women under age 40, a sign that sun tanning is still popular despite warnings about the harm it can cause. Also, the annual rate of occurrence of new melanomas in children in the U. S. is increasing rapidly, according to a new report. But that's another story.

Not to sound alarmist but, in the end, it makes you wonder if the majority of us in the U.S. will die of some sort of cancer!

2 comments:

  1. i wouldn't be surprised about that whole cancer thing. everything causes cancer these days. hell, reserach causes cancer in lab rats.

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  2. Yup! Kinda just makes you want to "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die!"

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