Monday, November 8, 2010

A bit more 'blah, blah, blah'

Frankly I am not very impressed by the big news that lung cancer mortality rates are reduced by CT scans. Why? Because its not a screening for everyone like a mammogram. Its a screening for current or ex-smokers who have smoked for 30 pack years. What is 30 pack years? People who have smoked a pack a day for 30 years or 2 packs a day for 15 years. So if you have been abusing your body through heavy smoking for years, now we can help save your life.

I am a former smoker. (I'm not going to tell you how old I was when I started smoking because my mother reads my blog but you can be assured that I started smoking before college. But then she used to smoke too. In fact sometimes she would bum cigarettes off me.) I was a bad teenager and smoked. But I have never smoked that much. At my worst, I was probably a half pack a day. But for the last 20 years, it was probably 5-7 cigarettes a day. Yes I kept smoking after my first cancer diagnosis. Then I quit, then I started again, then I quit, then I started again, repeat for a few years, and then I finally really quit - after my second diagnosis.

What I am trying to get at is I know how addictive smoking is too. Its very difficult to quit. But don't tell the heavy smokers that now they can be relieved of the thought that they might be able to find out if they have killed themselves through their smoking through a CT scan of their lungs. This is nothing more than the strategic implementation of a test to see if the harm from the smoker's self abuse can be detected before it kills them.

Also, even though smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer, there are thousands who get lung cancer and die from it even if they never smoked in their life.

We still need a cure. Don't get stuck on the detection side of things, find a cure please.

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