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. Since that time, I cannot tell you how many people have asked me, "Was your father a smoker?"
In my opinion, this is irrelevant. One would not ask a person with HIV/AIDS, "were you really promiscuous?" or "did you abuse IV drugs?" Why? Because the cause of the disease does not lessen it's horrific impact on the person diagnosed or those who love them. To ask this would be considered extremely insensitive.
There is such stigma associated with lung cancer, and the fact is, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both men and women
(taken from the American Lung Association website: http://www.lungusa.org)
. All I ask is, when dealing with people effected by this disease, please be sensitive to the impact it has on them and those who hold them close. Just as no one deserves to die of breast or colon cancer, no one deserves to die of lung cancer.