Every breath you take: lung cancer, women and SMAC!

Posted by on Nov 16, 2012 in lung cancer, Uncategorized | 0 comments

A few days ago, I ran across a piece published online at BBC that reported that lung cancer rates in women in the UK are expected to ‘soar’ over the next 28 years. More troubling is that the researchers report that by the year 2040, fewer than half of these women will be alive. That’s right; fewer than half.

I contacted Kings College London’s PR department in hopes of obtaining a copy of the study but believe it or not, despite the fact that I am a member of the press here in the U.S., I got the brush off. It’s a shame, really, because I think that this research is critically important, especially for women who like me, may have smoked when they were younger. However it’s also important for never-smokers; the development of lung cancer is not dependent upon smoking and in fact, the number of cases of non-small cell lung cancer is on the rise amongst non-smokers.

So in short of telling you more about the study, I’m going to share a few tidbits of information that you need.

Did you know that lung cancer is the leading cause of  cancer death in both women and men in the U.S. and is accounts for more of these deaths than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined? And, as I wrote a few years back, use of hormone replacement therapy has been shown to increase lung cancer by as much as 50%, depending on how long the hormones are taken.

I have been fixated on lung cancer for some time now; not only is it responsible for the death of a dear friend’s father, but, it is now taking the life of my friend Jennifer Strauss Windrum’s mother. Any day now she may be gone.

I would like you to step back and consider what I just shared with you:

Lung cancer kills more people than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. And rates are about to soar in women. If you use hormones, your risk of dying from lung cancer is even higher. However, another frightening statistic is that most people are not diagnosed with lung cancer until it reaches the most serious stage — Stage 4 .

Back to Jenn. Jenn has been on a crusade for several years now to raise awareness of lung cancer and boost funding for it. This crusade recently took on a life of its own, as WTF? For Lung Cancer (Where’s the funding) grew into SMAC! Sock Monkeys Against Cancer. Jenn created custom sock monkeys to give cancer patients something to hold onto while they undergo chemo, on days they feel particularly depressed, and moreover, to continue to draw attention to the fact that effective treatment is sorely lacking for lung cancer. Let’s face it; it’s not a cancer that attracts a lot of celebrity dollars or media attention.

I need to ask a favour. Would you consider donating $10 to the cause to bring SMAC! to life? Jenn has less than two weeks to go to make this dream a reality. And her mom? Probably less time than that.

$10. That’s a coffee. A lunch out. $50 gets you a monkey. And Jenn has pledged that for every monkey purchased, a second goes to a person with cancer. Another portion of the proceeds after she reaches goal will be donated to cancer research and programs.

Will you help? Or at the very least, spread the word to at least 10 other people?

Lung cancer kills. And it is about to kill a heckofalot of women if we don’t do something. Time to SMAC the hell out of lung cancer.¬†


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