Ed­u­ca­tion needed to stop stigma

Maroochy Weekly - - LIFE | EDUCATION -

NOVEM­BER is Lung Can­cer Aware­ness Month and Sun­shine Coast lo­cals are be­ing urged to help raise aware­ness of the disease, re­duce their risk and sup­port those af­fected.

Lung can­cer is the fourth most com­monly di­ag­nosed can­cer in both men and women and is the lead­ing can­cer-re­lated cause of death in Queens­land.

In the Sun­shine Coast re­gion alone, about 312 peo­ple are di­ag­nosed with lung can­cer each year.

While there are many fac­tors that can con­trib­ute to lung can­cer, we do know that smok­ing is the lead­ing cause – and be­cause of this many pa­tients, par­tic­u­larly non-smok­ers, can feel stig­ma­tised by their ill­ness.

A can­cer di­ag­no­sis is iso­lat­ing – but it can be es­pe­cially tough if there is stigma in­volved.

Stigma con­trib­utes to psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­tress, neg­a­tively im­pact­ing on the pa­tient’s quality of life and some­times, trag­i­cally, in­flu­enc­ing treat­ment de­ci­sions.

If you or some­one you know is af­fected by lung can­cer, please call Can­cer Coun­cil on 13 11 20.

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