Lung Cancer Stigma - page 2

Given all the recent media attention to cancer, I have been thinking about my recent and personal experience with this disease. In November 2005 my father was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. ... Read More

  1. by   Heloisea3
    It's sad that so many people view lung cancer differently than they do other types of cancers or diseases. My grandmother developed lung cancer, and she never smoked a day in her life. She did work in a textile mill, though, and I will always believe that is why she developed it. It is such a horrible disease.
  2. by   going crazy
    My mother was diagnosed with stage IV gallbladder cancer in October of 2001 and died 3 months later.
    She was 42.
    My grandmother died of breast cancer that she fought for 5 years but it spread to her brain.
    She was 52.
    My grandfather died of bone cancer.
    He was 49.
    While I fully support finding a cure for breast, lung or any other type of cancer why don't we focus on curing ALL TYPES OF CANCER. So that no other family will have to go through this.
  3. by   Irishgirl
    Jayla, I completely agree...I'm sorry to hear of the devestation this must be causing your family. At my hospital, we're trying to start a Lung Cancer Navigator program to help lung cancer patients find resources, there aren't many for lung cancer. It's all about breast cancer, because of the stigma associated with lung cancer. I can't even imagine being that person whose doctor tells him/her that s/he has lung cancer. Smoker or not, it's scary. We all are guilty of doing things that may lead to cancer or heart disease in one way or another. I haven't met anyone who is vice-free.
  4. by   nursesaideBen
    Quote from going crazy
    While I fully support finding a cure for breast, lung or any other type of cancer why don't we focus on curing ALL TYPES OF CANCER. So that no other family will have to go through this.
    I absolutely agree with you! There are so many types of cancer that afflict families and instead of just focusing on one type of cancer or one gender that's affected by cancer let focus on every type. My Grandad is finally cancer free after a battle with colon cancer thank God it was only in stage II. He had to have a resection of his bowel in which he went into respiratory arrest immediately post op, had a PE just a few months after his dx, etc etc. Cancer is a horrible disease no matter what type it is and NO one deserves it.
  5. by   Roy Fokker
    We had a specific part of our Pathophysio class in school on this very subject.

    I've always paid more attention since that class - and not just to lung cancer patients.

    cheers,
  6. by   Jayla
    Quote from nursesaideBen
    I absolutely agree with you! There are so many types of cancer that afflict families and instead of just focusing on one type of cancer or one gender that's affected by cancer let focus on every type. My Grandad is finally cancer free after a battle with colon cancer thank God it was only in stage II. He had to have a resection of his bowel in which he went into respiratory arrest immediately post op, had a PE just a few months after his dx, etc etc. Cancer is a horrible disease no matter what type it is and NO one deserves it.
    I just want to be clear--I do support a cure for every type of cancer. Of course, I do not want anyone to have to go through what my family is going through.

    My point, however, is that many people view those with a diagnosis of lung cancer as somehow deserving of their disease. Whether this is a subconscious or conscious feeling I cannot say. I am simply trying to bring awareness to this and asking for some sensitivity when dealing with those afflicted by lung cancer and those who love them. No where have I stated that more effort should be put into finding a cure for lung cancer over other types of cancer.

    I'm happy for you that your grandfather is cancer free.
  7. by   nurseangel47
    Guess my urologist falls into this cold heartedness category, then. When I had an in-office cystoscopy done for hematuria, while he was scoping me and first saw the tumor, he asked me " ' do you smoke?" I replied, truthfully, "yeah......", somewhat timidly, knowing that he wouldn't "approve" of this terrible addiction but still not putting two and two together yet....he then promptly replied: " ' well, you're gonna have to stop 'cuz you've got a tumor and it's cancer, I can tell by it's appearance and I'm sure it's from smoking...".....WHAT? This is how you break the news to someone unprepared for such a finding??? No biopsy, no gentle leading up to it, no cushioning of the blow, whether I "deserved it" or not....!!! GULP! I felt like someone had just dealt me an axe blow right between the eyes! I started to tear up and cry from shock and disbelief right then (still with him "down there" scoping, removing scope)...he proceeded to move to my head and stated, " now, there's no reason to cry, it's not something I can't fix surgically, yadayadayada,"....! Right....no reason to cry! I was thinking, " ' I've done this to myself!" I have caused a tumor of cancer from smoking all these years! Oh, the guilt and as others have stated, it's not like the diagnosis and subsequent treatment/surgery/recovery is exactly a walk in the park...I had the "extra" guilt of the doc "dumping" it on me like, whatdya expect? You smoked, now deal with the consequences! OUch! Bad bedside manner....BUT,.....he DID lighten up later....I think his nurse or someone else he works with must've put a bug in his ear about his "bedside manner" or something...he never lectured me again, in fact, at one point postop instruction at discharge/post followup appts., he made it a point to back a step up and tell me it was in fact, my business whether I quit smoking or not that he wasn't there to judge me on my lifestyle choices. I remember now that the nurse was much more sympathetic and helped me come to terms with the shock a bit before leaving the room and said not to beat myself up and that the doc and the others in the group indulged in occasional cigar smoking and how was that any different? I'm pretty sure she probably let him know later out of earshot of other pts. that how he broke it to me and for judging me like that wasn't very kind....thank goodness for nurses being patient advocates!

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