by Lynn Eldridge, MD
This was originally published at
About.com on March 6th, 2012.
We know there's a stigma attached to lung cancer. The first words anyone speaks to someone with lung cancer often makes that too clear. "How long did you smoke?" Can you imagine asking someone with breast cancer how long they were sedentary, or how long they ate a high fat diet? I hope not. That would be depressing...
Knowing that depression is common in people with lung cancer1, and depression occurs more frequently than it does in people with other forms of cancer, researchers set out to see if the stigma of lung cancer might play a role.
Their answer was what they expected. There was a significant link between the stigma associated with lung cancer, and depression.
Knowing this, they recommend further research designed to see if eliminating the stigma could subsequently reduce the incidence of depression of people living with lung cancer.
But even if that's not the case -- even if reducing the stigma doesn't reduce depression - the stigma of lung cancer needs to be stamped out. Nobody deserves lung cancer.