How Did I Get Lung Cancer? Good Question


posted by on Lung Cancer, Lung Cancer Awareness

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How did I get lung cancer? That’s a good question. Doctors always said that lung cancer is one of the easiest cancer’s to avoid, if you just quit smoking. Whew that’s good, cause I don’t want lung cancer.

You see, once upon a time, I did smoke, but in 1995, I quit.  I was never a big smoker and quit when I found out I was pregnant with my son. I would sneak a cigarette now and then after he was born, but when my mother-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer and had her lung removed in October 1995, I never touched another cigarette.  My mother-in-law died in February of 1996 at the age of 48. Ironically, my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer shortly thereafter. She was pretty tough, but lost her battle with lung cancer in December of 1998 at the age of 56. Next came my husband’s uncle. Wonderful man. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and died in 2000.  He was 50. They were way too young to die.Faces of Lung Cancer

I quit smoking 17 years ago. I always said I would do everything I could not to get lung cancer. I was in the best shape of my life. What a shock it was to me to learn I have lung cancer. Dammit. Are you kidding me!

Did cigarettes cause my cancer? Well, I don’t know. The type of cancer I have is non-small cell adenocarcinoma, which is the most common lung cancer in women and non-smokers, although it is also caused by smoking.  So what is the likelihood that smoking 17 years ago is what caused my cancer?  I don’t know and that’s what’s frustrating.

So What Can I do About it?  The best thing I can do is share my story and along the way try to bring awareness to the fact that more research needs to be done to find a cure for lung cancer. I was just reading an article that said that lung cancer causes more deaths every year than any other type of cancer. That took my breath away (no pun intended). The article continued to say that the research into a cure is way behind. Four times as much money is spent on breast cancer research than lung cancer.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that lung cancer has a stigma attached to it that isn’t easy to overcome.  I think many people imagine an older man or woman with yellowed skin and a cigarette hanging out of their mouth.  Well that’s not lung cancer. Look at the attached photos.  I didn’t look sick.  I am a happy wife and mom and never expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer. We need to find a cure.


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