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Letter to National Public Radio (NPR)....


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and a few other public broadcast stations.

I've been feeling a lot of penned up emotion with the anniversary of my Dad's passing coming up and I needed to find an outlet for it as the pain does not feel like it is lessening and this month has already been exceptionally difficult. So, I've sent this letter and others like it in honor of my Dad. I wanted to share it so you know I'm still in the battle......


Dear Sir or Madam,

I am a long time listener of NPR and I thank you for many years of great information, interesting stories and enlightening topics that have made for a well-rounded educational experience. Though I find listening to NPR fulfilling, I was deeply disappointed last November when there didn’t seem to be any coverage about lung cancer. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

This topic not only interests me because I lost my precious Dad almost a year ago to this disease, but lung cancer awareness is an extremely important topic for the public. Lung cancer signs and symptoms are OFTEN ignored or misdiagnosed until the disease has progressed too far for treatment to be successful. Younger people and non-smokers are being diagnosed with this disease at an astounding rate. More recently, young women in particular are being diagnosed with lung cancer for reasons that researches still have yet to determine.

Lung cancer patients are often times not treated with the same respect or treatment options as other patients because of the stigma associated with this type of cancer. Some may not even seek help when they do have signs or symptoms because of the incorrect teachings that lung cancer is a “smoker’s disease”. Or, a smoker may not seek medical advice and or treatment because of the guilt society has tried to place on them.

As NPR covers other ‘awareness’ issues such as Alzheimer’s and breast cancer, I feel you should give lung cancer awareness at least as much air time. Medical updates and personal stories would provide much-needed public education on this disease. After all, ‘awareness’ has been the key to the advances in breast cancer treatment. The public has been made aware that self-examination and yearly exams can lead to early detection and this can significantly increase the chance of survival. The statistics prove this has been effective. The American Cancer Society estimates 173,770 new cases of lung cancer in 2004. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths related to both men and women. Early diagnosis can improve the survival rate dramatically.

There is a website designed for lung cancer support which I found extremely helpful when I needed them. This site, www.lchelp.com, currently has 1,416 members in its ‘community’ and the number grows daily. These members consist of lung cancer survivors, current patients, advocates, family members and caregivers, providing a wealth of information to the fore-mentioned. The site could be an excellent source of quality information to assist with segments you may do regarding lung cancer and I encourage you to review it.

I’m sure you will see the need to educate the public with segments on your programs dedicated to lung cancer. There is no better time to start than this November. Time is of the essence.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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