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This is what I asked.....

Fay A.

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Thought I might ask when Lung Cancer would be considered a "Women's Cancer".

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>>> 02/17/04 12:30 >>>

When will Lung Cancer be viewed as a "Woman's Cancer"? Especially

Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma (AKA BAC), which typically strikes young

(20s, 30s, 40s)

females who have never smoked or been exposed to secondhand tobacco


Go here for the actual response: http://www.plwc.org/plwc/MainConstructo ... 499,00.asp

I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO disgusted. Got to turn this anger into something positive.... :x

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Well, Fay, it just shows to go ya that I really DON'T have lung cancer since I never smoked, etc. It's all in my head! I'm a flippin' hypochondriac with paranoid tendencies and a penchant for unnecessary (and OOOOHHHH so painful) surgeries in my never-ending quest for pity...

What a load of crap! Think I can pretty much fertilize the entire back forty twice with that load...

So, Ben & Jerry's tonight? :roll:

I've been doing home demo with all my "energy"....maybe I'll knock out a wall and add a wing... :wink:

Guess his education ain't all he thought it was, he's kinda slow..


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this is disgusting! I am so ashamed os that doctor. "Don't smoke and you won't have to worry about LC." DISGUSTING and harmful advice since it concludes basically no one else it as risk- even ex-smokers.

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You are right Becky -- I guess the 22,000 non-smokers struck with LC each year don't exist. How infuriating!!!

Hmmm......this may warrant me dashing off yet another letter to a misinformed doctor....I'll have to dig up my old post to the last irresponsible MD who made similar comments......

I couldn't find an e-mail address for the good doctor, but I did secure a mailing address, should anyone else be interested:

Dr. Maurie Markman, VP, Clinical Research

MD Anderson

1515 Holcombe Blvd

Box 0121

Houston, TX 77030

(Phone Number 713/745-7140 )

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This guy is affiliated with MD Anderson?? Is that why BeckyG and I were sent home with no "answers"? We didn't fit the "mold" of what a lung cancer patient SHOULD be??

WHOA! I thought MD Anderson was supposed to be cutting edge? This guy's answers led me to believe he was a local (read "Podunk") MD in some rural hospital....

Will have to set aside some time to slam out a letter to him and set him straight, I guess...

AFTER that wing goes in...gotta stay away from the ice cream, keepin' a food diary and don't want to have to enter BAD THINGS if I can avoid 'em (and I eat enough 'bad things' during the day to get tagged again for a late night ice cream binge...LOL).


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So, although a good friend of mine quit smoking in 1972, after smoking for only 5 years, farmed all his life, handled and breathed in fertilizers and all kinds of other things associated with farming, and has one of the best beef operations in the county, got lung cancer because he smoked for 5 years and quit 30 years ago. I challenge Dr. Markman, or whatever his name is, to tell that to this man's family, and see how far he gets.

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Dr. Markman said, "It is very rare for a non-smoker to get lung cancer."

My reply to him: "Define non-smoker, doctor! Someone who's never smoked one cigarette or been near a person who did? If you define smoker as someone who smoked for a few years in college (as 80% of us did), or lived with a parent, roommate, or spouse who smoked, or who went to a restaurant and sat in the smoking section because non-smoking was full, then you are correct.

If your definition of a smoker is not one of the above, then you are flat wrong, doctor."

My dissertation study includes 2 people (of 19) who never smoked and one whose cancer was caused by a chemical agent encountered in the military, although he does smoke cigarettes. So given that this is such a tiny sample, what are the odds that I'd encounter 2 never-smokers by chance?

Fay, I wonder if that was their version of your question or if it was someone else's question altogether. Sure sounds "edited."

:x Why is it politically correct to blame the victim ONLY in lung cancer? :x

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This sickens me. I can't believe this guy is a practicing doctor. Where did he get his credentials a cereal box?

Just in my research for my senior thesis alone, I found from the American Cancer Society that 55% of all lung cancer is diagnosed in nonsmoker and ex-smokers. If that is "rare" than, so is being born a female (55% of births in 2003 were girls). If I remember correctly, something like 17% LC diagnosises were true nonsmokers (never did). That doesn't sound rare to me.

This doctor is not only misinformed, but he is dangerous if he leads people to believe that if they are nonsmokers they have no risks of cancer. LC that could be diagnosed early will not be caught until too late with this man's attitude.

What an *ss!!

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Pompass *ss and idiot combined. I wonder how quick his story would change if he got lung cancer? With that kind of attitude in the medical field along with the gloom and doom that they preach when will lung cancer ever stand a chance of being cured?

Maybe someone needs to stand outside his office with a sign stating his ideas and do an on the spot poll of how many of his patients and others there have smoked before getting lung cancer. Maybe too a copy of his answer should be posted somewhere public so all of his patients can see exactly what a real *ss he is!

Anyone interested in doing a toilet paper routine on him? I can't think of many who deseve it more. A good way to let him know what a piece of sh** we know that he is.

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Well, upon further research, I have discovered that Dr. Markman's area of expertise is not LC, but gynecologic malignancies, specifically, ovarian cancer. Not a LC specialist.....so perhaps even more reason to not shoot his mouth off about how he perceives to see LC as a smoker's disease.....I'm composing my letter to him right now! I thought that perhaps the weekend would make his remarks less offensive, but I'm as burned up today as I was on friday..... :evil:

February 23, 2004

Dr. Maurie Markman, VP, Clinical Research

MD Anderson

1515 Holcombe Blvd

Box 0121

Houston, TX 77030

I recently read your on-line “Question-and-answer session” which took place on Thursday, February 19, 2004, and was saddened by your comments on Lung Cancer.

..."…the major cause of lung cancer is tobacco, and it is very rare for a non-smoker to get lung cancer. So, the message is don’t smoke, and it is likely you will never have to worry about this terrible disease."...

As one of the 22,000 non-smokers this past year to be diagnosed with lung cancer, I found your remarks to be misinformed, offensive and irresponsible. While it is true that the majority of lung cancer patients smoked at some point in their lives, in actuality, 17% have never smoked at all. I am a 34 year old mother to a seven year old son and I was diagnosed with Stage IIIA Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in January 2003. There is no history of lung cancer in my family and I have never smoked or lived with a smoker in my life. If my doctor had shared your views on lung cancer, I may not have been diagnosed properly, as non-smokers are not lung cancer candidates. This attitude may also prevent non-smokers from seeking diagnoses for various symptoms, based on a belief that lung cancer doesn’t apply to them. There is such an existing stigma associated with this disease and comments like yours, especially when coming from a doctor, do nothing short of perpetuate the stigma and negative connotation towards this disease. The sad fact is that "smoker", "former-smoker" or "non-smoker", the end result is the same -- Lung Cancer is the number one cancer-killer in our country. We should all be working together to find better treatments and a cure for this epidemic instead of simply telling people not to smoke. The philosophy that smokers have"made their bed, now they can die in it" is not acceptable. Even if every smoker out there stopped smoking today, it would take decades to see results. That would be decades too late for hundreds of thousands of smokers and non-smokers alike.

As the VP for Clinical Research in woman’s cancers, I am sure you are aware that breast cancer support, funds and research heavily outweigh the attention given towards lung cancer support, despite the fact that deaths from lung cancer FAR surpass deaths from breast cancer. Lung cancer deserves the same commitment towards treatment/finding a cure that breast cancer has received over the past decade. It also deserves a change in attitude -- and that attitude change needs to start with the doctors.

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Good Job, Heather. Are there anymore out there? The more letters we send, the higher the impact will be. We need letters especially from those who fit the description: never smoked, young woman in her 20's, 30, or 40's. Letters from never smoked men are good as well.

As long as Doctors, such as Dr. Markman, continue to fuel the stigma with lung cancer, they will continue to complain who short the funding is in lung cancer. These doctors have to wake up and face the fact - THIS DISEASE SURPASSES ALL OTHER CANCERS FOR DIAGNOSIS, MISSED DIAGNOSIS, AND HAS THE HIGHEST DEATH RATE OF ALL THE CANCER. I use the term "missed diagnosis" because of those people who are walking around with a diagnosis of brochial asthma, or related diagnosis, when in fact the diagnosis should be lung cancer. They get this diagnosis because they told the doctors they never smoked, or else they quit so many years ago, it doesn't make a difference now.

This is actually a serious concern of mine - just how people are there that have had a diagnosis such as bronchial asthma, when in fact it was lung cancer? Do we have anyone on this board who may fit this category?

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From a random x-ray that I had done in a hospital emergency room (anxiety attack), I was told that I had PNEUMONIA.....I argued with him for a good 5 minutes that I didn't and had not even been sick. The only reason he suggested a CT Scan was that he located a former chest x-ray of mine from the hospital from 7 months prior and it showed a spot....and it was now larger. (I wonder what he would have done if he had not seen that previous x-ray -- put me on antibiotics?) The next day I had a CT Scan and while waiting for the results, my family doctor decided that I "most likely" had TUBERCULOSIS and gave me a TB test....which was, of course, negative. It took about a week and a half between the x-ray, CT and CT-guided needle biopsy to confirm LC. I know from reading post here that I was very fortunate to have such a quick diagnoses. I too would be curious to know how many folks were misdiagnosed and for how long.....

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I am just picking up on this string after being away from the computer over the weekend. I asked basically the same question of the lung cancer specialist whose name I can't remember who did a PWLC chat back in November. I didn't restrict it to women--just asked him to address the failure of the medical community to consider lung cancer as a possibility in never smokers so that maybe some of us would be diagnosed earlier. As I remember, he (or the moderator) didn't think my question was worth addressing.

It really burns me up these days every time I hear an oncologist from MD Anderson open his mouth publicly about lung cancer something stupid comes out. The doctor I saw there repsonded to my anger with him about not being prepared to talk to me about clinical trials when I only made the trip to Houston for that purpose by telling me that "Only God knows how much time any of us have to live." (Yeah, but I don't believe God wants me to spend that time sitting around waiting on doctors whop can't be bothered to do their job!)

Anyway, I just put writing a letter to Dr. What's-his-face on my list of things to do this week. Actually, this is good for me--I have been feeling kind of down the last few days, and now I am energized and angry.

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I had no symptoms of lung cancer...I had had a dry cough for three weeks (a "norm" for me, it was late November and I ALWAYS get sick going into winter). My husband was sick, my son was sick and I didn't talk to the doctor until I took my son in for a sore throat... The PA put the boy and I on an antibiotic with the normal sinus infection steps - plenty of fluids, rest, take all of the antibiotic, etc.

Husband went to see the doctor as HIS symptoms were worse and got the same diagnosis, bad sinus infection...

Day five of my five-day Z-pac and I coughed up blood - bright red. Called the doctor right away, blood coming out of the body just ain't right... Went in for a follow up, sent for sputum culture, chest x-ray, TB test with controls, given ANOTHER antibiotic (yep, at that time taking two different ones at a time). Coughed up dark red blood once...

Chest x-ray showed pneumonia (I didn't doubt it was 'just' pneumonia, I felt like crap!), sent hubby in for an x-ray (he had a different doctor, insurance, etc.). HE had pneumonia. Son was treated for pneumonia due to everyone else having been diagnosed.

So, time comes for follow-up x-rays. Hubby's was scheduled before mine (December) and was clear. Mine showed that the pneumonia was gone, but there was a different "cloud" in my right lung on the x-ray and my doctor (God BLESS that woman) wanted to be sure it was nothing and sent me for a CT...showing a mass, leading to the biopsy, leading to the diagnosis, leading to surgery and here I am...

Like Heather, I had had a chest x-ray earlier in the year ~8 months - and that was clear. Had my doctor been in the same school of thought as this doctor, I doubt I would have been diagnosed before it had spread beyond lymph nodes (knock on wood)... There was no notation on the x-ray about a follow up, but the person reading the CT had flagged it with "follow up for possible carcinoma".

Sure glad my doctor is wise enough to admit when something is too big for her to handle and seeks out the "best in the area" for consult... This was not the first time she sent me to a specialist to check something out, this was just the very most important time.

Doctor does not believe the coughing had anything to do with the tumor, just impending pneumonia. No displayed symptoms of LC, just a big bunch of luck and circumstance.

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You have every right of writing that letter because you definitely fit into that definiton of missed diagnosis (Please note I use the term missed diagnosis compared to misdiagnosed.) A missed diagnosis is when the doctors have toally missed what they were seeing and called it something else. A misdiagnosed, means that they are on the right track, but took the wrong siding. That would be diagnosing someone with lung cancer and not Staging them correctly.

The only way we are to make these doctors understand the injustice they are giving us, is for more and more of us to write these letters and tell them the truth. I can only write a letter on behalf of someone else, as I quit smoking only 4 years prior to my diagnosis, although I was a non-smoker at the time of diagnosis, I don't exactly fit into their "definition of being a non-smoker".

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I had bronchitis or pneumonia at least twice a year for YEARS before I was diagnosed. I have learned in the last eyar that that is one of the few "early warning signs of lung cancer." No one ever took an x-ray or considered anything beyond antibiotics because I ddin't smoke and was took young to have serious lung problems. I was told that I have allergies like almost everyone who lives in the places I have lived. Now I know I was stupid to let it go--I knew that most people with allergies don't cough like I did, but I wanted them to be right, so I didn't argue much. Thank God I finally had a doctor last year who thought that a cough that lingers for 3 months just might be more serious than cedar fever.

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The doctor I saw there repsonded to my anger with him about not being prepared to talk to me about clinical trials when I only made the trip to Houston for that purpose by telling me that "Only God knows how much time any of us have to live."


That is so friggin lame! The doctor you made an appt to see in Houston actually told you that? You specifially went to see him about Clinical Trials and that was his suggestion/advice? Makes a person wonder why he went to medical school in the first place, if not to help god along in healing people.....

Makes me glad to be a Yankee..... :roll:

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It appears you sent email to the yahoo, can you send me the email address? I plan to follow-up with a snail mail, but need the instant gratification that only electronic means can give me...(Don't EVEN ask me about batteries and Duracell stock! :oops: )

I believe in Becky's case, it was BOTH a missed diagnosis AND a misdiagnosis by your definitions. (As for MD Anderson opinions, I'm with her, but I had reserved the table first, she just ended up at the head of it... :? - and that's a wry laugh, not a funny ha-ha laugh)

Ah yes, letter writing is in order...almost caught up on the weekend chores I blew off for snowball fights, walks in the sunshine and dancin' 'til I wheezed... I had a "life" weekend and the housework went to hell...BUT, I DO type fast and can probably pop out a purty decent piece o' writin' in a half hour or so while supervising laundry or the dishwasher...

Send me that email address, please! I'll pound one out after exercising while hubby's cooking dinner (ain't my turn to cook).


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