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Money for lung cancer research

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I met with my doctor today and the recheck went great. He took lots of time with my questions but didn't have all the answers (like why I have lung cancer, what can I do to prevent reoccurance, and how likely is it to reoccur). The problem is money for research. He says lung cancer is the number one cancer killer, but nobody wants to fund research to find answers to it. Anyone have ideas on what to do?

dscott
Posts: 35
Joined: Feb 2008

It seems to me that if everyone was as smart as the women who fight for breat cancer there lies the answer. They run Avon walks and do so much. Seems to me that a good portion of articles that are in cancer magazines concentrate on breast cancer. Even in our oncologist office there is a lot on that and nothing on lung. It would have to be in getting people that it has such a high mortality rate. Probably lies in the fact that there is not a lot of sympathy out there for smokers. The fallacy lies in the fact that most people only associate it to smokers. I guess I am not much help. Just wanted to vent...

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

Vent away. Hey, I have BOTH BC and LC, so I know just what you mean. Even the waiting rooms are different at the same hospital. Guess which one has lazyboy easy chairs and magazines? I don't want to make smoking an okay thing to do, but no one deserves cancer and that includes me, who doesn't smoke and doesn't have a family history. I would like some answers. And I have no idea how to make money of the sort that is needed.

trft
Posts: 48
Joined: Jan 2006

What I hear here, that "smokers deserve it," well I expect that's partly true. Of course, people do not do things for one reason. And I suppose they don't do things for even more reasons. Anyway, I'm an ex-smoker with lung cancer; never thought I'd get it; didn't run in my family. Now it does. As far as which cancer gets researched, you know I don't care that much. I just want more money for cancer reserch. And not to be political, but I have a pretty good idea where I think this extra money can be found. In the meantime, cancer awareness and its reality is probably is part of the solution.

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I don't think that anyone deserves cancer and that includes smokers. But my doctor says that's why his speciality doesn't get funded. He believes strongly that about 15 to 20 percent of the population in American has a genetic quirk that combined with smoking kicks off lung cancer. Thus smokers are at a higher risk but some of us get it without smoking. Don't know if you are following me, but what I see is that cancer is a disease that no one deserves. It is not a punishment for a bad habit. It is an illness with genetic roots. Smoking is a health problem for reasons other than cancer and I refuse to promote it. But smoking or not smoking shouldn't be the reasons folks fund research. Basically people are dying from this stuff and it isn't getting any attention from the general public even though they are at risk.

dscott
Posts: 35
Joined: Feb 2008

I am with you Cabbott and never meant to imply that it was my belief that smokers deserve it. I was just trying to say that is what the general population seems to think. It is too bad we can not change their minds but that is hard to do.

Greggriggs's picture
Greggriggs
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2006

Guess I better get in this I had a left lung removed two yaers ago . I smoked for 52 years so I guess i'm one of the guys that deserves it.
I also painted cars for 40 years ,on the can it says do not inhale fumes there is a hole list of things on the can why you should not even open the can.
No one has sued Dupont or PPG or Exon or any oil company.
You know my doctor never ask me if i painted cars or breathed exshaust fumes , but he did ask me if I smoked!!!!
I read about all the stuff that is funded like Katrina. millions donated to the primaries 2500 hundred a plate. Donate some of that to the cancer research.
I think I need a doctor like you cabbott. Mine just pats me on the knee an says keep up what you are doing see ya in 3 months .
Thank you for lettin me vent with you ....
Greg

Irene2003
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2008

Now a day there are a lot of non-smoking women are getting lung cancer. I am one of them. Mostly all the non-smoking ladies that I know are working hard and very responsible person. I know I did everything right, except I always want to do the best job and working long hours and ruim my body. I saw everybody is raising money for breast cancer and breast cancer has a higher cure rate now. I really wish they can do more fund raising for Lung cancer. I tried to donate my money for the Lung cancer from my income tax return. But in the income tax form, it only breast cancer is listed. So I donated some of my money to breast cancer instead of Lung cancer. I think we should ask congrate to add Lung cancer to the income tax form for people to donate. I wish people will aware of the death rate of Lung cancer and raise money for Lung cancer as they do for breast cancer to save the Lung cancer patient.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Cabbott: First, congratulations on your 'recheck'. I assume that means that you got an 'all clear' for the time being, and that is always great news for all of us!

You ask some interesting questions, and I note that you have also received some interesting answers to some of them. I would like to throw in my two cents.

You first ask why you have cancer. Some others who have answered have done well to bring up environment and genetics. As I gather these days, it is pretty much a combination of the two. If you are sucking up asbestos for a living, it could happen to you. If you come from a family of cancerous folks, it could happen to you. And if you combine the two, you should get checked out today :). Eventually, and not too far down the road, they are going to be able to identify genetic markers in all of us. They are already doing it for some cancers. What they will then be able to do, I am not yet sure. I assume that ultimately they will figure out a way to turn those markers off.

In the meantime, the answer, in my humble opinion, is that it is what it is. The answer is the same one that you would get if you asked why a loved one was run over by a car: it is what it is. It is no one's fault. (Okay, the tobacco companies suck, but let's leave that aside for the moment :)). It is what it is. You are no less a human being because you have cancer, and you are not to blame for having cancer.

It is sad that much of humanity seems to think otherwise, as some of the respondents here point out, but it simply isn't so, and most of them will experience cancer in their lives before all is said and done, and they will not think their moms are evil, they will not think their sister deserves it. It is what it is.

Re prevention of recurrence, there ARE things you can do. None of them are foolproof, of course. Once you have the nasty critter, it seems to have ways of re-inviting itself to your party (I am originally a head/neck cancer survivor of '05, who just had a lobectomy on 01/31/08).

But you can do things. Quit smoking of course. They don't seem to accentuate the evils of alcohol, but alcohol is a known carcinogen...so you can quit drinking. (It's at this point that I say to myself, there's just one thing left and if they say to take that, I'm outta here!).

There are known vitamins that are good for you. I am not a nutritionist, so I can't advise you there. It is widely held that happiness and fitness serve you well. Walk! Walk! Take the dog for a walk! Walk with your significant other! This site has lots of things in its resource area about healthy nutrition and, probably, about a healthy exercise regimen.

How likely is it to recur? I have been asking my doctors that for almost three years now. In June of last year I was told I had a brief time left on this planet. In August following that prediction I was told they'd made a mistake. I'm still here. But it did recur. Or maybe it was a new one. They don't know.

What I've learned from all of that is that they don't know. At first I thought they were avoiding lawsuits or trying to keep my hopes up (or down)...but they don't know. They can give you statistics, but they know better than anyone how useless they are. It does no good to tell you that you have a 45% chance, because that can only bring you down, when you may be a 95%er because of your attitude, physique, and determination. And they don't want to say you are a 95%er only to find out it's spreading or whatever, because they don't want you to feel like it's over. This is common sense. It is what it is. I would like to say you have as much to do with whether it recurs as anything, but I don't know that, and neither do your doctors. (But I think you do.)

Finally, you ask about research, and bring up the breast cancer thing. :)

I won't get into the reasons except to point out that breast cancer hits a lot more people than lung cancer does (and hey, NO ONE even knows what head/neck cancer is). As a result, some famous and rich people have had breast cancer, and have made things happen. It makes sense.

More importantly though, in my opinion, is that any money going to BC is likely to help all cancer survivors eventually. Money earmarked for AIDS is likely to help in the fight against cancer. Money devoted to the human genome project is already helping in the fight against cancer.

As long as there is money going to the fight against cancer, I am not particularly concerned about which cubbyhole it goes into.

As for what to do, do the walk. Get involved in the Relay for Life. Find other ways to promote funding for cancer research via the ACS. It's up to you, really, how much you are prepared to do.

Take care, cabbott, and congrats again on your good checkup!

Joe

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

Thanks for your post! I appreciate your level-headed advice always. I can't wait till the chat room is fixed and I can "talk" with you again. I agree that advances in one kind of cancer trickle into advances in other kinds, but it amazes me how slow different branches of medicine are to take up successful practices from others. I went to a leukemia workshop for helping children and they showed on a chart how help for survivors was being implemented in various kinds of cancer. Breast cancer researchers were just starting to do what their docs had been researching many years ago and other doctors were not starting. It wasn't life expectency driving it so much as individuals within the field. So organizations like CNS can provide a field where we all communicate and maybe help the trickle effect, whether it is in communicating medical issues, fundraising issues, or just finding ways to make life better while we are here. Thanks for your input!

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