• Have you faced the "cancer stigma"? You know, when you tell someone that you have cancer then they ask how long you smoked.

    Asked by GregP_WN on Wednesday, June 5, 2019

    Have you faced the "cancer stigma"? You know, when you tell someone that you have cancer then they ask how long you smoked.

    Or something else like, "what did you do to get cancer"? Lung cancer patients get the worst of these comments. There is a study that shows Lung cancer survivors who don't smoke say the stigma is hindering funding for research. This article talks about one patient who never smoked was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. In June 2017, Cassandra Morris was a healthy 43-year-old mother of three girls. Exactly a year later, she was dead. Read the article here>> https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-04/non-smoking-lung-cancer-survivors-say-stigma-hindering-research/11138910

    30 Answers from the Community

    30 answers
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      My brother had lung cancer. He had smoked for 40+ years. I miss him every day.

      But when I was asked how I got breast cancer, I had no answer. It just happened. No family history (that I know of), not a smoker, lived pretty healthy and get it happened.

      A friend's husband died at 42 of lung cancer. The only thing that they could think of was that he built his house and was exposed to Radon.

      Cancer is just A crazy beast that can come at any time. I hope one day that there is a cure for all cancers.

      22 days ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      There's enough stigma to go around. As we have learned, cancer doesn't pick convenient places to occur. There is stigma about "BUM" cancer (rectal and anal). There is also stigma and embarrassment about genital cancers (testicular, penile, vulva and vaginal) too.

      My husband asked my oncologist why I developed rectal cancer, and she replied, "Only about 10 percent of smokers develop lung cancer. Yet 10 percent of the patients with lung cancer have never smoked." She shrugged her shoulders and said, "Bad luck."

      For colorectal cancers, now everyone blames the way we have eaten, yet many vegetarians develop colorectal cancer too.

      The causes of cancer are complex. The American Cancer Society estimates that roughly 1 out of every three people will develop cancer in their lifetime. So we need to stop throwing blame.

      21 days ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      My friend that I went to Israel with never smoked. But, she just entered Hospice. She's had several cancers over the years, but lung cancer has been the most formidable.

      I know far more people with lung cancer who never smoked and were not exposed to second-hand smoke than that do or did. The stigma is deadly because it means our disease does not receive adequate research funding (lung cancer kills FAR more than the other cancers but is not funded at anywhere near the same rates (when considering $ per death).

      It is also deadly because even the doctors have bought into the stigma and don't even think to see if a patient might have lung cancer if they don't have a smoking history. The result is that by the time the lung cancer is diagnosed, it is late stage IV and the patient is often "too far gone" for any treatment to help. Worse still, those who are diagnosed with lung cancer who never smoked are often very young, so they don't fit any "profile" and uneducated doctors misdiagnose frequently.

      My son was in the VA hospital, complaining about his heart hurting a few weeks before he died. The doctor admonished him to quit smoking (at the same time as saying there was nothing wrong with his heart...). My son, having heard my stories for so long, told the doctor that lots of people who never smoked also get lung cancer (he was using that stat as a reason to keep smoking...duh). The doctor ARGUED with him about the fact that non-smokers are ever diagnosed with lung cancer. That was in late 2018.

      The stigma for lung cancer kills people.

      21 days ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      JaneA I couldn't have said it better.

      21 days ago
    • JudyW's Avatar
      JudyW

      When my son was telling my ex-husband (his dad) about my metastatic breast cancer with Mets to the liver, my ex said "Oh, it's because of her drinking, huh?" My son, to his credit, said," "No, they're sure it's spread from before." Now, I'll have a beer or a glass of wine but I'm not "a drinker. " He was trying (again? still?) to ahead me with my son.

      20 days ago
    • JudyW's Avatar
      JudyW

      Sorry... He was trying to smear me with my son.

      20 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      I must be blessed to be around intelligent people, but I've never known anyone who either thought that, or who was rude enough to say it.

      If someone did say it to me, I would chalk it up to their ignorance and FORGET ABOUT IT. No need to worry about dumbies.

      20 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      LWC, in which city did your son go to the VA? If you want some personal satisfaction, you could write a letter to the VA Hospital Chief of Staff about that incident, and ask him to please notify his physician staff of the correct facts. Also tell him the name of the doctor who argued.

      Take care.
      Barbara

      20 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Food for thought?

      If some of us didn't have or die of cancer, but we know we have to die SOME way, what do you think is a "better way" to die (realistically)? Eliminate peacefully in our sleep as a choice.

      20 days ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      I'm not dying I have Eternal Life from the day I got saved to forever.

      20 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Barbara, I’ve thought about that (better way to die: of a cancer or quickly, by heart attack or stroke, etc.). If I were given adequate pain meds or if Dying with Dignity were available, I’d much prefer to die of cancer. Dying immediately from a heart attack or stroke or aneurism is easier, but for me it’s way too sudden and doesn’t allow time to prepare loved ones (as much as anyone can be prepared); make plans; say goodbye.

      However, right at this time, I have the luxury of choosing a usually far slower, imagined death. If I ever have a metastasis or a deadlier primary cancer, a swift death may be what I want.

      20 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      I know that sounds like a silly question, but some people say why do they have cancer----we have to have a way to die.

      Carool, I completely agree with you! If it becomes very painful, of course I want pain medicine, but otherwise like you I want to tell my loved ones goodbye, and maybe my bank passwords to my daughter, depending on . . . . lol

      PaulineJ, I know I'm going to heaven, but I still need a word to use for "dying," don't you? It's just a word.

      19 days ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      My body is the only thing that dies.My soul is me,So my souls and spirit still lives in heaven until we get a new body in the rapture .The bodies will be resurrected first and meet us that are still here for the rapture

      19 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      PaulineJ, that interpretation is new to me. Can you tell me where the Bible says that part? I don't think we should assume anything.

      19 days ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar
      Teachertina

      Every day is a gift! That’s why it’s called the present! When your time comes you will die. We want to go easy but don’t get to choose without suicide. My mom was kept comfortable at the end and we had a few days to say goodbye. Many don’t get that due to tragic accidents or sudden death. I am hoping to have a chance to get my affairs in order and see my loved ones before I go. My mom was in the care of Hospice and they were absolutely wonderful. I urge donating to them whenever possible. We may need them ourselves someday.

      19 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Teachertina, I'm pretty ignorant about Hospice, but my understanding is that Medicare insurance pays for it like they do for hospitals----why do they need donations?

      19 days ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ
      19 days ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      How to know you're saved

      https://youtu.be/fL87OKrch6k

      19 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Barbara, thanks. And people fear cancers, but other illnesses can kill us in a snap, while we know that those with even Stage 4 cancers can live for years. Of course, having cancer or having had cancer doesn’t guarantee that someone can’t also die of a swiftly-acting illness. One way or another....

      18 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      PaulineJ, I was raised a Methodist, and I am used to conservative, low keyed ways of speaking about faith. Are you implying that I don't KNOW what I believe? Have no doubt. Best wishes.

      18 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      PaulineJ, I'm sorry if the above post sounded rude. I only meant to be adamant and reassure you. Many good people disagree on the fine points of faith, and I think it's more important for us to agree that we believe in God and keep His Commandments. Focus on the big tenets of our faith so we aren't always arguing---isn't that really what God wants from us---to love each other?

      18 days ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      BarbarainBham , It's okay to agree not to agree.But just one last important thingThe only way to be saved is by the Blood of Jesus.It's only what He's done that saves us.No one is good.Only God is good.We are all sinners.and can't save ourselves by just believing in God being good.Many people claim to be a christian and have religion ,but are not saved by religions.The only different is the saved are forgiven for past,present and future sins.And the non believers aren't until they hear the gospel and believe from the heart.And we're not under the law anymore .But because we are saved we don't sin ,because the Holy Spirit is in us.The Gospel is >1Cor.15:1-4 and Roman 3:25.
      I'm not trying to change you.You like others can believe whatever you want.Jesus does the saving.We are His instruments to lead others to Him by teaching His word ,especially the Gospel.And it's up to them to accept it or not.Have a bless day!

      18 days ago
    • Kp2018's Avatar
      Kp2018

      BarbarainBham, tragically, not everyone who is dying is of Medicare eligibility age, or has insurance. Donations are truly needed.

      18 days ago
    • PaulineJ's Avatar
      PaulineJ

      Wow! I just happened to get this one in my emails.I get those everyday.God is sure with me.lol! How Great is our God!

      by Love Worth Finding

      BIBLE MEDITATION:

      Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Romans 3:28

      DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:

      If God the Father chose us and the Holy Spirit set us aside for His holy purposes, then what part do you and I have? In our time here on Earth, there are two parts to our journey: divine sovereignty and human responsibility.

      Second Timothy 2:21 says we believers have been “sanctified…and prepared unto every good work.” Another way to say this verse is, “So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.”

      You have been “sanctified” –set apart for the Master’s purpose—not to sit, soak and sour, but to be obedient to God for what He has for you to do.

      Yes, salvation is free, but you must obey. God’s divine sovereignty in choosing us does not nullify our response to His call. You have been saved out of this world, sent back into this world to witness to the world, and that is the only business you have in this world.

      ACTION POINT:

      Now, you do not work to be saved. You work because you are saved. Someone has said and I agree: “I will not work my soul to save. That work, my Lord has done. But I will work like any slave for the love of God’s dear Son.”

      18 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      PaulineJ, I agree with the basic tenets you mentioned, so we aren't agreeing to disagree----we agree. (No one is perfect but Jesus, because we are all sinners who need His forgiveness.) I do think you are getting hung up talking about Jesus' blood, and it's a non-necessary turn-off to non-believers you want to make Believers. No need to argue about non-important words.

      Love to you, PaulineJ.

      16 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Kp2018, I worked from age 15 till I was almost 65, and there are plenty of jobs now. I honestly feel that healthy people should be working so if they get cancer, they will be covered by Social Security or other sources, such as Medicaid. Disabled people are covered by the system as is.

      16 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Barbara, there aren’t plenty of jobs. I’m 71, laid off in October from my part-time work as a secretary (did get some severance and now unemployment benefits). I’d worked there for 17 years and, similarly to you, have been working, either full time or part time, since I was 17. I’m on two job search engines and haven’t gotten more than one call-back (I started looking in April, as I had my severance and then a month-long, five-day-a-week grand jury duty). And I know of much younger people who can’t find work, despite having an excellent work history, college or grad degree, etc. Yes, there may be plenty of jobs, but many people can’t get one.

      16 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Hey, Carool,
      Have you applied to the State of New York Unemployment Office? That's where they get their statistics the Feds announce, plus unemployment checks since you were laid off.

      Older people do have a problem traditionally because of their age. I think employers think we're either unhealthy or have dementia. It's pretty true of me, but I was thinking today I wish I worked part-time, or even volunteered. That's probably how to get your foot in the door of a job----establish a volunteer or Temporary attendance record and then apply to permanent openings. Have you thought about that?
      Otherwise, do you qualify for any free money like food stamps?

      Best wishes. It's hot as Hades here today. I went to the store about 11 a.m. & didn't run any other errands. Luckily my condo has great AC. I never noticed the heat when I worked inside. I was a Medical Secretary at the VA Hospital. Stay cool!

      16 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Barbara, thank you. Yes, I had to go to NYS Unemployment to register for my benefits. I’ll go to the NYS Dept. of Aging for more help. My boyfriend/partner helps out with money, so no worries yet.

      Stay cool, too! I hate heat. NYC summers are not my thing, but I’ve managed here for my entire life, so I’m geared up for whatever the weather throws at us.

      16 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      I think working part-time would be nice. Maybe working retail part-time would get you out at least talking to people. I've always thought part-time jobs were nice. At one time, I worked as a Temp Secretary for the local university/med school, and that was my favorite. They kept me busy working and it wasn't stressful because I was the "temp." Have you thought about advertising that you type for students needing term papers or theses typed?

      Hopefully you'll find something soon. My cousin knew somebody at our local Honda dealership, and he hired her after she retired to sit in their showroom and answer the phone and page whoever the call was for----no typing when the phone was quiet, nothing but smile!!! Good Luck!

      14 days ago

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