IBJOpinion

Lung cancer strikes nonsmokers

November 6, 2010
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

November is Lung Cancer Awareness month. Last November I was hospitalized with H1N1 and pneumonia. In January I had a biopsy that confirmed non-small-cell lung cancer, stage IV. My lung cancer is not due to smoking, but for sake of transparency, I quit smoking 20 years ago. Half of all lung cancers occur in people who have already quit smoking. Here are some surprising facts:

• Lung cancer kills almost twice as many American women as breast cancer annually and three times as many men as prostate cancer.

• Roughly 10 percent to 15 percent of lung cancer patients have never smoked.

• The National Cancer Institute estimated it spent only $1,638 per lung cancer death, compared to $13,519 per breast cancer death, $11,298 per prostate cancer death, and $4,588 per colorectal cancer.

Early detection is critically important to improve the chances of curing lung cancer, since this cancer tends to metastasize or spread at an early stage. In patients where the cancer has already advanced, such as mine, detection can still help to prolong life and improve its quality.

In retrospect, I should have paid closer attention to some of the symptoms I had. Hopefully the list below, while certainly not complete, will serve to alert readers to talk with their physicians: a persistent cough, blood in sputum/spit with a brownish tinge, sudden, significant drop in weight that isn’t the result of dieting or exercise, shortness of breath, inexplicable fatigue, recurring bouts of pneumonia, bronchitis and other such infections, change in voice quality/hoarseness that persists.

It’s been one year since I heard the words “lung cancer” altering my life forever, but for the better. I feel healthier today than I did last November, despite the bleak prognosis. My new mission is to educate people about lung cancer. There are no pink ribbons, no massive media involvement, but one thing is certain: lung cancer is on the rise and can affect anyone.

____________

Carol Trexler
 

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  • An ounce of PREVENTION is worth a pound of cure!
    I am not sure why more national groups advocating lung cancer awareness don't more aggressively recommend the need for home owners to get their houses tested for radon gas? The Surgeon general has issued a health advisory on it. http://www.epapsa.com/campaigns/surgeongeneral/

    The EPA estimates it kills more annually than drunk driving!

    Many real estate agents seem to be reticent to bring it up for fear that it might affect their SALE!

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

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