November 20, 2012
Lung cancer claims the lives of more people than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined, yet it receives the least amount of public attention, legislative action and research funding than other common cancers. One reason for the neglect of lung cancer issues is that lung cancer survival rates are low, leaving behind a scarce number of survivors to give a voice to the cause. The stigma of lung cancer as a self-inflicted disease is the major challenge for advocacy and policy changes. Policy makers, corporate donors and even health officials are too often not willing to dedicate research funding to the “smoker’s illness.” The reality is that anyone can get lung cancer, including people who never smoked or those who quit several years ago. Addressing these biases and bringing lung cancer to the forefront of the healthcare agenda is vital to increasing funding initiatives and saving lives from this deadly disease.