If we start talking about climate change as something that won't really affect us for another 100 years - that is a losing battle. We must think about climate change as something that is affecting us today. One way to connect the dots is to think about the connection between climate change and lung cancer. Lung cancer kills today - this is not something we can ignore because it won't affect us. It is already affecting us.
What if we did lung cancer research and learned more about connection between our environment and lung cancer? Why aren't we doing the research? Is it that conservatives don't want to know the answer?
Lung Cancer is deadly (all U.S. info)
• The second leading cause of all deaths
• Causes 30% of overall cancer deaths
• 228,000+ people are diagnosed annually; almost 160,000 deaths annually.
• More deaths from lung cancer than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined.
• 1 in 14 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer
• Lung cancer often spreads before being diagnosed. Lung cancer diagnosis before it has spread is only 15%, compared to prostate cancer (81%) and beast cancer (60%).
5-year survival rate of lung cancer is 16.8%.
5-year survival al rate for breast cancer is 89.2%
5-year survival rate for prostate cancer is 98.9%.
Lung Cancer is killing nonsmokers (all U.S. info)
• Nearly 80% of new lung cancer cases are former and never smokers –
• 20.9% current smokers, 60% former smokers, and 17.9% never smokers.
This is shocking - that almost 20% of new cases are never smokers and 60% are former smokers - yet, we have no screening test for lung cancer. We wait for it to progress to stage 4 before it is detected. Then it is too late to try to cure, there is only treatment which may prolong life by months.
• Pathogens, environmental contaminants, age, and genetics are all factors in its development (but all reasons not really understood – WHY?).
We spend pennies on lung cancer prevention research
• The least funded cancer in terms of research dollars per death of all the major cancers
(about $200 million from government - same amount Susan B. Komen alone raises for breach cancer research
• Only cancers where patients are routinely blamed as responsible for their condition.
More women die from lung cancer than breast, ovarian and cervical cancer COMBINED.
• nearly 200 each day
• most die within a year of diagnosis.