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Lynne Eldridge MD

Lung Cancer is a Lemon - The Inequality of Support for Lung Cancer

By October 21, 2008

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"Coffee, tea, or me?" No – that will be pink lemonade, thank you. At 34,000 feet, our flight attendant shared that we could choose to pay for a beverage – and it wasn’t wine. Yes. I could forego my customary tomato juice and coffee for pink lemonade. 2 bucks for a glass, 4 bucks for a can, and every penny will be turned over to breast cancer research.

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I am all for breast cancer research, both professionally and as a family member that has thus far been left out of the bathroom breast cancer fashion show scene, lacking the scars to make me worthy. Some might consider me to be more than a quiet advocate for breast cancer awareness, but my heart turned to those silently suffering with lung cancer.

So I opened my mouth. Was the airline planning on doing anything for lung cancer awareness? Do they understand that twice as many women die from lung cancer as from breast cancer, and despite the stigma, 20% of these women have never smoked? At the risk of thoroughly embarrassing my eldest child seated next to me, I closed my mouth.

It is breast cancer awareness month, so I will sip my pink lemonade politely, grateful that my thirst quencher may make a difference. I encourage others to do the same, and pass up the cappuccino to pad the pockets of research instead. Next month, November, is lung cancer awareness month. I hope I am offered a refreshing white drink to quench my thirst a mile high then.

Further Reading: The Stigma of Lung Cancer

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