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Have lung cancer in Canada? Don't expect sympathy

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Staff Writer | November 9, 2017
lung cancer
Healthcare   Lung Cancer Canada

Most Canadians aren't sure they feel sympathy for people with lung cancer, another signal that the country's most deadly cancer continues to be misunderstood.

This is one of the highlights as part of this year's Lung Cancer Awareness Month activities and the launch of the fourth annual Faces of Lung Cancer Report by Lung Cancer Canada.

In a recent international survey, 1 in 5 Canadians said they have less sympathy for people with lung cancer than people with other types of cancer.

What is even more troubling is that the number of people who believe lung cancer patients deserved sympathy actually dropped from 61% in 2010 to 53% in 2017.

The study, commissioned by the Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC), surveyed people in 25 countries to better understand attitudes towards lung cancer and levels of symptom awareness among the public.

Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers), and is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women.

The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that in 2017 28,600 Canadians will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and 21,200 will die from it—more deaths than from breast, prostate and colon cancers combined.

Although smoking causes most lung cancers, about half of patients who are diagnosed have either never smoked (15%) or are former smokers (35%).


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