Climb to beat lung can­cer

POST Newspapers - - Letters To The Post -

Lung can­cer kills more women in Aus­tralia than breast can­cer, and smok­ing is re­spon­si­ble for only about 24% of cases.

To raise funds and aware­ness and dis­pel the myths sur­round­ing lung can­cer, a group of health spe­cial­ists will climb Ja­cob’s Lad­der in King’s Park 55 times from 8am next Satur­day, No­vem­ber 17.

Ja­cob’s Lad­der is a climb of 242 steps from Mounts Bay Road up to King’s Park.

Climb­ing it 55 times as a team will rep­re­sent the 12,741 Aus­tralians who are pre­dicted to be di­ag­nosed with lung can­cer this year (242 steps mul­ti­plied by 55 equals 13,310, rounded up).

Ev­ery year in No­vem­ber, which is lung can­cer aware­ness month, WA Can­cer and Pal­lia­tive Care Net­work’s tho­racic can­cer nurses Kirsten Mooney and Caitlin Brod­er­ick get in­volved in the pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign.

The team will wear­ing green Shine a Light on Lung Can­cer T-shirts.

All pro­ceeds will go straight to Lung Foun­da­tion Aus­tralia for lung can­cer re­search.

Lung can­cer has a strong stigma be­cause of its link to smok­ing.

But 30% of women and 10% of men di­ag­nosed with lung can­cer have never smoked, and many oth­ers stopped smok­ing sev­eral years be­fore their di­ag­no­sis.

Res­pi­ra­tory physi­cian An­nette McWil­liams said smok­ing con­trib­uted to 16 other can­cers, but lung can­cer was by far the most heav­ily stig­ma­tised.

She said this led to blame and shame and less pub­lic em- pa­thy fpr lung can­cer pa­tients.

In­evitably, it could re­sult in fewer re­search dol­lars, she said.

Re­search will help to im­prove out­comes be­cause lung can­cer has the low­est five-year sur­vival rate – 15% com­pared with breast can­cer’s five-year sur­vival of more than 90%.

To do­nate, go to do­nate. grass­rootz.com/lung­foun­da­tion/shine-a-light-on-lung­cancer/perth-sal-event

Photo: Bil­lie Fair­clough

Caitlin Brod­er­ick leads An­nette McWil­liams and Kirsten Mooney upJa­cob’s Lad­der.

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