Dreading the stigma that may come. (bit of a rant)

Has anybody had any stigma directed at them for having lung cancer? 

I'm only at the beginning and yet I'm already  getting  the feeling from reading about lung cancer  that there isn't as much sympathy for people with lung cancer as there is for other types.

(Jusr to stress that this place is brilliant and full of compassion,)

I'm talking about attitudes 'out there'.

Even the media and film makers play along with it.

No fluffy pink ribbons and moonlit walks for us. 

No romantic/tragic films such as the Fault in our stars or My sisters keeper.

As far as I'm concerned.cancer is cancer and it's enough having to deal with cancer without people being judgemental on top of it.  I'm sure I'll get asked countless times do/did you smoke? Even my family have started down that line.

I don't get it,.

Lots of cancers have lifestyle factors that can make you pre disposed to getting it.

An example is:

It's been suggested that eating meat, especially cured meat can make you more susceptible  to bowel cancer, but people wouldn't dream of saying to someone with bowel cancer

 "Did you eat too many bacon sandwiches?"

And yet lung cancer patients are continually asked about smoking.

I'm sure there are other cancers besides lung cancer that are also stigmatised, for instance  people are made to feel ashamed because they have cancer in an embarrassing part of the body.. That's not right either.

But there's a special kind of judgement reserved for lung cancer patients.

Nobody, no matter what their cancer,  should be made to feel ashamed when theyre basically fighting for their lives.  Nobody.

I would like to see a campaign that would address this issue.

Rant over

Sorry am feeling fragile. Formal diagnosis tomorrow

  • Hi

    I am sorry you find yourself here. Sadly, I lost my Dad to Lung Cancer in February, he had Small Cell Lung Cancer. We were never informed what the “cause” of the cancer was, he was a smoker but in general an all round fit person, played a lot of golf, did lots of DIY, he wasn’t unfit. I personally wish there was screening for Lung Cancer, but there isn’t. 

    I know we all know the risks that come with lifestyle choices but I never once judged my Dad throughout his illness, he was tortured enough and even if smoking was the cause, why should he be made to feel he did wrong and like you say, be made to feel ashamed. I am SO proud of my Dad, always have been and I always will, he fought so hard throughout his diagnosis and everyday I wish he was still here and I miss him immensely. 

    I wish you the very best, forget the judgement, ignore the ignorance, you have a lot more important things to deal with right now.

    Keep us posted on your progress and look after yourself.

    Lucie x 

  • Thank you Lucy for your  kind words.

    Your dad sounds as if he was a lovely man who is greatly missed.


  • Sorry, Lucie,  not Lucy x

  • Thank you and he was the best. Wishing you all the luck in the world x 

  • Hi Harebellle

    I was diagnosed with SCLC 4 years after giving up smoking. I knew the SCLC was down to the years of smoking, which was purely my choice as I knew the risks.  Not once has anyone berated or judged me regarding my previous smoking habit; I received only support and best wishes..  I think most people (myself included) ask about smoking as it is the most common reason for lung cancer.  For non-smokers I think it provides some sort  comfort i.e a cancer they  think they can cross off their future cancer worry list.

    We in the Lung Cancer community have yet to get our act together and follow the examples of the Breast Cancer and latterly the prostrate and testicular cancer communities.  The drive of these communities has made sure that these types of cancer are front and centre in terms of media coverage and national fund raising activities.  Bowel Cancer is now becoming very prominent across the media, thanks in no small way to Deborah James and her bowel cancer podcasts..

    If you want a campaign,, then someone has to start it.  Who better than someone just at the start of their Lung Cancer journey..  Had podcasts/blogs be more prominent when I was diagnosed, I may have considered starting one; too late now as 11 years on I have forgotten the little details/emotions that make podcasts interesting in order to grow a substantial following.

    No need on here to apologise for feeling fragile; we have all been there!

    Good luck with the diagnosis appointment.

    Kegsy x

    "If you are going through hell, keep going" ; Sir Winston Churchill
    " Cancer may take my life; however it will not become my life" Kegsy August 2011