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Your thoughts on "Prevention"


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Help a girl out. I'm conflicted. I have been asked to write an article on awareness and prevention for a health organization.

You know my quandry...the smoking issue has long stigmatized lung cancer efforts (many people think only smokers get LC and that it's a 100% preventable disease) and we know now that stopping smoking or never smoking at all doesn't make you immune to getting lung cancer. Half of people diagnosed are ex or never smokers ...SO, my quandry...how do I write an adequate article about awareness and importance of prevention (being healthy) without feeding the misconceptions about who can get lung cancer?

is that even possible?

Maybe talk about prevention and the importance of follow up care for people who did once smoke and have higher risk factors?

I just want to do it right.

Thanks for any advice.


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Maybe you could stress that while no cancer, including lung cancer, is 100% preventable there are steps we can take in our lives to be healthier and reduce our risk? You could talk about how important it is to be aware of lung cancer symptoms and take them seriously regardless of your smoking history, radon exposure, etc.

I see your dilema. Good luck!

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In a way, Katie, you can't. There is a finite amount of focus available. Said differently, if 10 hours a year are spent on major media outlets highlighting lung cancer...or if individuals are really only going to consume 15 minutes of information a year, one way to increase disease focussed talk (versus beghavior focussed talk) would be to increase the total allocation (the 10 hours or the 15 minutes). But let's be honest. That's not happening...that's well beyond our control (or is not easily influenced). So we need to use the 10 hours or the 15 minutes in the most wise way we know how. For me...discussin prevention is ridiculous. You all get it. Smoking bad. We learn it in school now. Posters all over the hall ways of my elementary school. And that's fine. But it's taken care of already...why do more on that front?

I think controlling the narrative is important. And it's too focussed on prevention. We need to shift it to the disease...so I would take a pass.

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I don't see how you can ignore smoking, but I agree with Nick that this is a message we have all heard over and over again. Anyone who doesn't know smoking is linked to lung cancer, just as asbestos is linked to mesthelioma, must have been living in a cave. I think radon is under-emphasized, but I also think people tend to ignore all kinds of environmental issues. Since my dx and subsequent breathing problems, I am super aware of what I am breathing in. But I've noticed many people with healthy lungs don't seem to pay much attention or take it very seriously when they are breathing in "garbage". It would be nice if people could be made aware that while the lungs are amazing organs, they need to be taken care of and protected from all sorts of things (not just smoke).

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I would talk about all the known causes of lung cancer and how to prevent being affected by them. When you talk about non-smokers also getting you can mention that many smokers NEVER get lung cancer. There are causes of lung cancer that we are not aware of yet. Genetic mutations are caused by things not under our control. I would talk about all known reasons and make people really aware that just NOT SMOKING does not protect them from lung cancer. It is one cause, but there are also many other risk factors. Having healthy eating habits, keeping a healthy weight, living in a radon free home all REDUCE your risk, but no one is safe from lung cancer. Know your body and learn some of the vague early symptoms. Get regular check ups, even if you don't think you are in a high risk catagory. No one in my known family history had lung cancer. No one in my immediate family smoked. Awareness that we are all at risk is essential.

Sent from my SCH-I405 using Tapatalk 2

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