17-37 Segment 1: Lung Cancer Stigma


Most forms of cancer have a built-in constituency of patients, loved ones, and concerned others. Lung cancer patients, instead, are often blamed for their own disease because of its frequent connection with smoking. Patients are often isolated, and research dollars lag behind other, less common cancer killers.


  • Donna Fernandez, lung cancer patient
  • Carly Ornstein, National Director of Lung Cancer Education, American Lung Association

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15-19 Story 1: Lung cancer, no smoking


Synopsis: Lung cancer is the world’s #1 cancer killer, but its association with smoking has created a stigma that often stuns patients who never smoked and results in much less research money for lung cancer than for other less lethal diseases. Still, new treatments provide hope. Experts discuss these issues.

Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Dr. Andrea McKee, Chairman, radiation oncology, Leahy Hospital & Medical Center, Burlington, MA; Dr. Heather Wakelee, Associate Professor of Medicine, Stanford University and Stanford Cancer Institute; Dr. Joan Schiller, Deputy Director, Simmons Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, and President, Free to Breathe advocacy organization

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Click here for the transcript.