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Did You Know Non-Smokers Can Get Lung Cancer? I Did.

Updated on August 12, 2019
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Linda writes articles on a variety of genre's; poetry, recipes, mental health, health & wellness and personal stories about her life.

Lung Cancer Survivor

2004-Posing with family at my benefit
2004-Posing with family at my benefit | Source

Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers vs. Smokers

Smoking, a main cause of small cell and non-small cell lung cancer, contributes to 80 percent and 90 percent of lung cancer deaths in women and men, respectively. ... Nonsmokers have a 20 to 30 percent greater chance of developing lung cancer if they are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work.

Source: American Lung Association

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung Cancer Awareness Month or (LCAM) is a national campaign dedicated to increasing attention to lung cancer issues by organizing rallies, distributing educational material, holding fundraising events, speaking to the media and contacting congress.

According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer is the leading killer in both men and women in the U.S. More people die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. In order to fight this tragic disease, the American Lung Association focuses on educating the public through comprehensive information about the disease and treatment options.

Another goal of the American Lung Association is to try to put a stop to the negative stigma that is associated with lung cancer. While the leading risk factor for lung cancer is smoking, patients should not be blamed or judged for getting this disease. The stigma of lung cancer can be a major barrier to the patient, caregivers and family members. The American Lung Association wants this "negative stigma defeated so we can help defeat the disease."

Why is Lung Cancer Awareness Month Important to Me

Why is Lung Cancer Awareness month important to me? I was only forty-one years old when I was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in February of 2004. Hearing those three scary words, "You have cancer," is something I will never forget. My twin sister by my side, we anxiously awaited the call about my lung biopsy. When the phone rang and I heard the doctor say, "I'm very sorry to tell you, you have lung cancer," I repeated his words out loud. My loving sister fell to the floor as the words echoed through the air like some sick joke. How could I have lung cancer I thought, I'm young and never smoked a cigarrette.

It doesn't matter if you smoke or don't smoke. Lung cancer can hit anyone for different reasons. As I said earlier, a major risk factor for developing lung cancer is smoking but here are the other risk factors: Exposure to radon gas or asbestos, being around second hand smoke and pollution. The doctors will never know exactly what caused my cancer but I have a pretty good idea. As a child, my parents were heavy smokers which was pretty common in the 60's and 70's. I remember enjoying the smell of a just lit cigarrette when mom and dad passed my bedroom in the morning. I also worked as a server in the restaurant business for many years when smoking in public was allowed.

It was a long hard journey but I was more than willing to fight for my life. I had surgery to remove the middle lobe of my right lung. A month later I went through grueling chemotherapy once a week and eventually radiation treatment. I was told that I had a 20-25% chance of surviving the first five years because the cancer had spread to a couple of my lymph nodes. Here I am, seven years cancer-free and loving every day God gives me.

Please help me spread the word that November is 'Lung Cancer Awareness Month' so we can fight this horrible disease.

Sincerely, Linda Rogers,

Non-Smokers and Lung Cancer

Did you know that non smokers can get lung cancer

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© 2011 Linda Rogers


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