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Letter to the Editor


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Dr. West has a very good article on his site about the pink robbon/clear ribbon issue. Since November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, I wrote the following letter to the editor and am inviting anyone who wishes to cute and paste and send to their local newspapers over their signature.

I want to add that I don't mean this to slight focus on treatment for men with lung cancer. But I think most people, when they think of LC, they think of it as a man's disease and they need to start thinking of it as a women's disease too. Besides anything that will rasie awareness and lead to more money for research and treatment will help all!


Dear Editor,

Now that October had passed and the pink ribbons have been put away for another year, it's time to turn our attention to the most deadly cancer for women: lung cancer.

In 2007 the American Cancer Society estimates that 101,000 women will be diagnosed with lung cancer and a little more than 70,000 will die of it. That is more women than will die of breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers combined. Yet while the federal government spends more than $23,000 per death each year on breast cancer research, only $1,800 is spent per death is devoted to lung cancer research.

My question is this: If lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer, why is so little money devoted to researching effective lung cancer treatments? The simple truth is that there is a stigma attached to lung cancer. Because it is so closely associated with smoking, there is an assumption that lung cancer victims are responsible for their own illnesses. While the argument can be made that there are a variety of lifestyle choices that contribute to all kinds of cancers, lung cancer victims seem to be particularly singled out for theirs.

But even if that were a valid reason (and it’s not) for shortchanging lung cancer research, it can’t account for the growing numbers of nonsmoking women who are being diagnosed with lung cancer. Current studies estimate that 1 in 5 women with lung cancer have never smoked and that number is growing at a rate faster than that for men and for smokers.

It’s time to add lung cancer to the list of women’s cancers. We need ribbons and walks and, most importantly, we need funding.

I’m grateful for the work that has been done to help treat women’s cancers. In a very real sense, research on a particular cancer adds to the body of knowledge on all cancers. Lung cancer is one of the hardest cancers to treat effectively. If we can develop the treatments to beat lung cancer, we will take a much larger step towards winning the war against cancer once and for all.

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Susan...a letter well written...thank you...Hope it will create some action on our behalf...

Talking about letter's...Don't know if any of you guys get the program...DEAL OR NO DEAL...but anyway...it is a program with 26 beautiful gals coming on stage holding 26 cases with money amounts in them...it's a game show where you can win a million dollars....Each time the show is on...the girls come out in beautiful outfits...In the middle of Oct since it was 'breast cancer' awareness month...they all came out with pink outfits...Well that's just fine and dandy...and I am happy about all the research...but never the less I/we feel very slighted...So I decided to get my fine self in tune and write the show a letter :) ...went on to tell them about LC and how unfunded it is and how unfair...and yada yada...but the bottom line I asked the producer's that since November is Lung Cancer awareness month...to do us a big favor and have the girls come out in white to put some focus on LC...and coming from their show it would give us a boast....Don't know if it's gonna happen but I gave it a try...I told them if by chance they will do it to let me know the day so I could tell my friends and family...I will let you guy's know if I hear...

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A great letter.

Re: Deal or No deal and the pink outfits in Oct, I can't imagine the clear outfits for November will make it past the censors.

We all have to get people we know to commit funds and spread the word...I'm not holding my breath for the "establishment" to step up and recognize...so we'll do it ourselves!

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I'm another one of those 'been there, done that' people. Last year I deluged TV and newspaper people. Actually I did get some nice coverage from one local newspaper. That was it though.

Here are my own personal thoughts on why TV and movie people do not step forward for our cause. The tobacco companies have long arms and their fingers are in so many pies that we just are not aware of. For example, now I'm not sure if this still holds true, but they had their fingers in Oprah's pie, and perhaps still do. What is she going to do? Now you and I know that LC is about more than tobacco, but she is not going to ruffle feathers. I think the same would be true of any 'celebrity' who may step forward. Tobacco fingers in MANY movies. Let's say we want Sandra Bullock to be a spokesperson for us. (I personaly just like her.....and she has been photographed smoking). Would she be shooting herself in the foot? Will roles disappear due to the long tobacco arms reaching into the movie industry? Who will jeopardize their career like that?

This is just my own take on why things are the way they are sometimes. But each year we hear folks starting to beat the bushes about mid-October because LC gets little notice in comparison to breast cancer. They then write their letters, etc., etc. Many have done that for years now and not only in October after we are 'green' from all the pink or November for LC month.

Nick is right........we gotta do it ourselves with tiny steps that never stop creeping along, not just 2 months in the fall. Matt Lauer's dad died from LC and he is a very generous supporter of the Hospice in Naples, FL. I personally have written him and he did not even acknowledge that he received my correspondence. So, there you have it!

My show idea for Oprah would be to fly in Raney, Fight(Rachel), Jamie, Ursol, TracyD, Heather_T, Hebbie, Aaron, and any other member with an LC dx who might be in their 20's or 30's and have them tell their stories ~ many which are non-smoking stories. Then get them all a makeover with a paid vacation somewhwere. How do you think that would go over? Now I would like that myself, but it has been pointed out to me that the LC story people would be interested in hearing involves YOUNGER folks. I absolutely get that. But we all know that is never going to happen for any of us.

So let's just keep the momentum going even AFTER November and all the hooopla from October's pink has faded from our memories. Jamie is out there for us, and I know there a some others doing great things trying to make strides for the cause. Ann asked the question this morning about if we thought we would have made good pioneers. Well, we ARE pioneers. The generation after us will reap benefits we are only now dreaming of. But it will take all of our efforts for some time yet to get there. And I do believe we will get there.

Sorry I've gone on so long. Guess some of this has just been festering for quite some time now. Amen.


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I just got an email notice from Livestrong asking me to write a letter to my representative asking them to vote "yes" tomorrow on a bill that will increase funding for cancer research.

They, of course, have letters thoughtfully written, but you can edit them so I did to make the case for an increase in the funding for all cancer research but ESPECIALLY Lung Cancer research!

If you go to


and join the Livestrong Army they will tell you who your representatives are and you can send your own letter.


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This is such a thought provoking issue.

Kasey... I think your idea is fantastic. However, I'm not sure what your mean by "younger". Geeze, how much younger can you get when you mention those individuals?? I ABSOLUTELY HATE this disease, and when I read about anyone who is under the age of 90 and is fighting this disease I feel the need to speak out!!!

I'm so *&%& off at our local newspapers. I made a point of visiting the editors of both papers (remember we're really a small town here). Today it is November 5, and I've yet to read ANY coverage regarding lung cancer awareness month. I gave them TONS of material...Including a PROCLAMATION FROM THE GOVERNOR. What the heck does it take to get any recognition for this disease that is taking WAY too many lives?

Sometimes I just don't understand stupidity. I will continue to read our papers, and, if by the end of the month there is NO mention of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the ##%^#%# will fly!

Sorry for the vent... I'll step off the soap box once again. Ellie

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I wrote a similar letter last year or the one before. I got so angry because October was over but Breast Cancer baners were still up and the collection cups were up in the stores still.

It was November a time set aside to recognize Lung Cancer. Still no one paid any attention to that in any way except the Stop Smoking frenzy that takes place every year now.

I did have several responses to my letter but they were all from people who had LC. Most who had never smoked. As for the general public they all but ignored it. I think the main reason is because somehow people are afraid to get too close because they think it will somehow effect them or their life. Or maybe it is just that in this day of everyone wanting to be Politically Correct it is just not glamous enough to fit into that catagory.

Your letter is great and even when we get dishearted we do need to continue pushing our cause. Maybe someday people will wake up and listen.

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