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Email tp PLWC

Guest DaveG

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I sent the following to PLWC via email today 2-22-04

In Dr. Markman's chat, one question dealt with women and lung cancer. Dr. Markman's answer to that question is so far off base, he isn't even in the park. I have many friends at Lung Cancer Survivors for Change and in the Lung Cancer Support and Advocacy Group, at the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center, Madison WI, who have never smoked, or are absolutely long term non-smokers, 10 years plus. The group at UWCCC was organized through the efforts of Dr. Joan Schiller and now averages 30 at each meeting. In both the on line group and face to face group there has been much discussion about smoking and lung cancer, and one major conclusion comes from both groups: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SMOKE TO GET LUNG CANCER. Smoking is but one issue with lung cancer. If all the people in the US quit smoking, I believe, you would still have lung cancer.

Please, do not misunderstand me, smoking is bad for anyone's health and is responsible for many diseases besides being one of the risks for lung cancer: among those diseases are: heart and COPD, emphysema, Bladder Cancer, Throat Cancer, Brain Cancer, Oral Cancer, and goes on and on.

I would like Dr. Markman to explain his statement to two friends of mine who have Lung Cancer. One friend smoked for 2 years, back in the late 1960's and quit in 1970. He is 30+ years a non smoker. He is a beef and crop farmer. He has one the largest and best beef operations in Sauk County, Wisconsin. He has been a life long farmer and is in his early 60's. He has been exposed to all kinds of chemicals to include pesticides, fertilizers, crop dust, diesel and gas fumes, and many more hazardous chemicals. His oncologist and other doctors admit that smoking is of no issue in this case. I would like Dr. Markman to tell this man's family that smoking caused his lung cancer. He is Stage IV Adenocarcinoma Lung Cancer.

Another friend is in the group at UWCCC. This young woman, 36 years old, has never smoked, nor has her husband. She was exposed to second hand smoke as a child, until her father quit, while she was in school. She and her husband have lived in the same home for 14 years. She was recently, early 2003, diagnosed with Stage IIIA Adenocarcinoma Lung Cancer. She has had chemo and radiation, surgery, and is now going through chemo again. The doctors were mystified about her lung cancer, until someone took a Radon reading of the basement of their home. The Radon reading was off scale. The cause of her lung cancer is Radon, not tobacco.

I can go on and on about stories of people with lung cancer who don't have a history of long time tobacco use, or are absolute never smokers with very limited exposure to secondhand smoke. Even according the American Cancer Society, non-smokers and never smokers make up 55% of those diagnosed with lung cancer. My own observation is more and more young women, in the 20's, 30's, and 40's, non smoking young women at that, are being diagnosed with lung cancer. Several with SCLC at that.

I and many members of Lung Cancer Survivors for Change, which now has over 900 registered members, would like Dr. Markman to correct his statement and apologize to the many non-smokers, both men and women, who have lung cancer.

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Great letter Dave. If you find any more asses like him that need to be put in their place please post it for us. Maybe enough people will get the word eventually. If there is anything I can do to help please let me know. I have enough time to do something if it can be done from home. One step and on idiot at a time maybe the ultimate answer

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Way to go Dave!!! Thank you for sending this letter to the doctor who just doesn't know the facts. Apparently he needs to do some research before he let's the NOISE sputter from his lips. Let's pray that you get a response and the truth is revealed to the world... Where have all the good doctors gone?????

Thanks and God Bless


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