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Voices: Lung cancer stigma

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http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Conten ... =News/News

Jun. 12, 2006. 12:15 PM

Unlike other forms of cancer are people with lung cancer stigmatized?

Why would they? You can get lung cancer from the air in Toronto, from asbestos in your old house and from who knows what else.

Cliff Campbell, Acton

How can we blame them without blaming ourselves and our society - one which normalized and even celebrated smoking until recently.

Erin McCracken, Quebec City

You have to admit it’s difficult to have sympathy for someone who wilfully places themselves in such danger. I smoked for 20 years and I managed to quit. Bottom line - do what it takes to quit.

Virginia Furlong, Pickering

My feelings have recently changed as I was the caregiver for my wife Theresa Mullen, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in October, 2005. She lost her battle with the disease in March. I firmly believe that it has a lot to do with genetics. Her older sister was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer four years ago and today has a clean bill of health. God bless her as I do believe she is a miracle.

Mark Mullen, Walkerton

Smokers are the most visible minority, so why not pick on them? No one bothers the government, which knew 40 years ago about our polluted waters, and therefore the carcinogens in the fish that we eat. What about all the chemicals put on and in our foods? Is it ourfault if we get cancer from eating?

Louise Craig, Burlington

Lung cancer sufferers are victims, and should not be stigmatized. The culprits are the tobacco manufacturers and the tax-receiving governments.

John Blandford, Toronto

How harsh, inhuman, and unsympathetic we have become. Shame on us! As far as I can remember, tobacco is a legal product with huge taxes collected upon. People smoke, that’s reality. Some will get ill due to it. They deserve the exact same care and treatment as the rest of us.

Lenny Di Veccia, Toronto

I find it difficult to sympathize with people with lung cancer caused by smoking as life is about choices and the smokers made their choice to smoke.

Mary Daniels, Burk’s Falls

Yes! My mother died of complications from lung cancer treatment and the first question anyone asked was, "Oh, I didn’t know she smoked." For many years she didn’t! Through her hospitalization, I met many other lung cancer patients who never smoked. It’s truly scary and lends me to believe that talk of the environment being largely responsible is very possible.

Joren Carlson, Toronto

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