Cancers are not created equal.
There are trendy Cancers, there are rare Cancers, there are Cancers that metastasize into completely new Cancers, and there are stigmatized Cancers. They all suck, but they are not all treated equally.
The truth is certain Cancers got lucky and the public rallied behind them to find a cure. They raised billions of dollars, and we can see what that money was put towards. The facts don’t lie the mortality rate has hit a steep decline in the past 30 years. The money that is funding the research is working.
So we know that this method works. More money, more research, more lives saved. But Lung Cancer is the deadliest Cancer, so why don’t we rally behind it? Why don’t we know that the White Ribbon is for Lung Cancer? Why don’t we have catchy phrases like “save the lungs.” ?
The truth sucks to say out loud, but we don’t have this funding or national support because Lung Cancer has a big ole stigma. Most people believe that if you have Lung Cancer, you gave it to yourself. You smoked – you shouldn’t have but you did, so now you deserve to die.
Is there a way to change this? Do people who smoked really deserve less funding? What about those who never smoked, do they deserve to die because others chose too? Why can’t Lung Cancer be trendy? Why don’t we have celebrities announcing they have Lung Cancer to put a face to the disease? What can we do better?
I ask myself these questions everyday. And the truth is I was stuck on this paragraph for hours because somedays its just too frustrating to think about. The stigma will take years to dissolve. But in the mean time we need to talk about Lung Cancer. We need to educate ourselves and our families that this is not a smokers disease. We need to raise money however we can. And we need to educate our doctors to look for Lung Cancer early.
At the end of the day, life isn’t fair, Cancer isn’t fair. But we can work together to educate, raise awareness, and help creating a world where no one dies of this stupid disease.