02 November 2007

Number-One Cancer Killer Not What You Think

Number-One Cancer Killer Not What You ThinkTwo-thirds of women inaccurately believed breast cancer to be the leading cause of cancer death among women, but in fact lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in America. Lung Cancer is the disease that claims more American lives than any other cancer. Smokers should know better and expect related health problems when they smoke and give enough attention to lung cancer treatment and prevention.

Lung cancer accounts for twenty-eight percent of all cancer deaths in the United States, and more Americans lose their lives to lung cancer annually than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. This news further underscores the need for continued research and awareness about prevention and treatment of this disease. Eighty-five percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer are current or former smokers, whom many perceive as having had the power to avoid a lung cancer diagnosis if only they had been able to quit. However, nicotine is highly addictive, and that while seventy percent of smokers want to quit, many lack the tools and resources to quit for good.

When considering patients with lung cancer, many Americans treat them with a "you should have known better" attitude, which fails to acknowledge the young age at which most smokers start and the highly addictive nature of nicotine. We need to be supportive of smokers trying to quit, more empathetic to people and families suffering from lung cancer, and more vigilant in ensuring more research and funding is devoted to lung cancer. Former President Bush's message says: "Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. It is a national tragedy killing thousands each year, leaving behind devastated families. Cigarette smoking causes most cases of lung cancer. If you or a loved one smoke, get the help you need to quit now."

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