Fresh Living

Thumbnail image for LungCancerAwarenessPin.jpgLung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in America, killing around 437 people every day.  That’s across both ethnic and gender lines–and 60 percent of those who are diagnosed with lung cancer are non-smokers or smokers who quit decades ago. 

I think that information, from the Lung Cancer Alliance, is what you find when you look up “sobering statistics” in the dictionary. 

When I was 16, my grandfather was diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer.  He was what you found when you looked up “lifelong smoker” in the dictionary–we figured out that he had smoked for 80 years, starting when he was around 7 years old.  He moved into our house and died under hospice care two weeks to the day from his diagnosis.  I have never–not even once–touched a cigarette of any kind.

But I’ve learned that avoiding cigarettes can’t protect me–or you–from lung cancer.  Four years after my grandfather’s death, my other grandfather was also diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer.  He hadn’t smoked in 30?  40?  A lot of years.  Again, hospice, death, another loved one lost. 

My mother lost a dear friend to lung cancer–and she never smoked at all.  Friend-of-Fresh-Living Lori Hope is a lung cancer survivor.  You all probably have stories of loved ones who have been affected by this devastating disease.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and so I’ve compiled some resources from around Beliefnet to help raise awareness, encourage conversation, and offer support. 

Lung Cancer Awareness Month Resources

No One ‘Deserves’ Lung Cancer

Pollution and Soot: Lung Cancer Threats?

10 Reasons to Quit Smoking

An Awareness Plea from a ‘Breath Cancer’ Survivor

Member Journal: Losing a Mother to Lung Cancer

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