Paul Newman's Death Casts Spotlight on Lung Cancer

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Paul Newman's Death Casts Spotlight on Lung Cancer

Postby Wilberforce » Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:43 pm

Paul Newman's Death Casts Spotlight on Lung Cancer
Saturday, September 27, 2008

By Karlie Pouliot and Jessica Ryen Doyle

Lung cancer has been thrust into the spotlight again after the death of legendary actor and
philanthropist Paul Newman at the age of 83.

Newman died Friday only a few months after pictures surfaced of him looking frail and thin
as he was wheeled from the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, where he was
said to be receiving treatment for lung cancer.

During Newman’s rise to fame in the 1950s, cigarette smoking was used in the movies and
on television to convey masculinity, sophistication and sex appeal.

Late in his career, Newman — who at one time was considered a heavy smoker — famously
quipped, “It's absolutely amazing that I survived all the booze and smoking and the cars
and the career.”

It’s been reported that he quit smoking some 30 years ago.

But although stopping does help curb damage to your lungs as the years pass, the chance
of getting lung cancer is never completely gone.

“The risk continues for at least 10 more years even after you’ve quit,” Dr. Len Horovitz,
a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told

“Once lungs are damaged they don’t grow back,” he said. “It’s like brain tissue — once it’s
gone, it’s gone forever.”

In fact, smoking is behind nearly 90 percent of lung cancer cases and is the leading cause
of cancer deaths in the U.S. among both men and women.

“It’s a horrible way to go,” said Dr. Evan Sorett, a pulmonologist and director of critical care
at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City. “People have to be put on morphine, they are
gasping to breathe. It’s a terrible death.”

Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that lung cancer
accounted for more deaths than breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer combined.

But it isn't always cigarettes that lead to the disease.

“Eighteen percent of people who come down with lung cancer have never smoked,”
Horovitz said. “And we do know that out of 18 percent, 80 percent of those people are
women, so experts believe there may be some hormonal elements that may play a role
in lung cancer as well.”

The National Cancer Institute defines lung cancer as cancer that forms in tissues of the
lung, usually in the cells lining the air passages. The two main types are small cell lung
cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

Non-small cell lung cancer, the less aggressive of the two, is the most common type and
accounts for 90 percent of lung cancer cases.

Small cell lung cancer (sometimes known as oat cell cancer), accounts for about 20
percent of cases, according to the American Lung Association.

Rick factors include:

— Smoking cigarettes or cigars, now or in the past

— Second-hand smoke

— Exposure to heavy metals and other industrial solvents

— Air pollution

Symptoms and Treatment

What’s scary about lung cancer is that symptoms don’t usually occur until the disease
is in the advanced stages.

“For most people. if they wait until they have symptoms of lung cancer, then they are at
very low probability of being cured,” said Horovitz. “The idea is to be followed regularly by
a doctor, especially if you’re at high risk.”

Symptoms may include:

— A persistent cough

— Shortness of breath

— Chest pain

— Wheezing

— Weight loss

While there are several ways to treat lung cancer, the form of treatment chosen depends
on the type of cancer and how far it has spread. Treatments range from surgery to
chemotherapy and radiation. Often times, patients receive more than one kind of treatment.

“In the early stages, hopefully surgery can play a role, because surgery is your best chance
for survival… especially if the tumor is stage one and if it hasn’t affected the lymph nodes
or other structures,” said Horovitz.

If the cancer has spread too far, surgery may no longer an option.

“If there’s lymph node involvement, then chemotherapy would be the option and sometimes
radiation, or both,” Horovitz added.

The NCI estimates that there will be more than 215,000 new cases of lung cancer this year
and more than 161,000 people will die as a result.

That is the equivalent of a Boeing 747 crashing every day, Sorett said.

“If that was on the front page of The New York Times, it would get people’s attention,”
he said. “But it’s not, and it doesn’t seem to make people stop smoking. That’s the only
way to cure it. If it were up to me, I’d outlaw the sale of tobacco.”

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Postby turning_blue » Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:46 pm

With the smoking ban, everyone that smokes is gathered outside restaurants having a cigarette break. The smoke is more than an imposition. It's a threat to anyones health who has to breathe the second hand smoke.
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Postby Beeshel » Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:21 pm

I absolutely loath cigarettes. The only good thing that we have is those laws to keep people from contaminating our indoor spaces with their bad habits but everytime I walk outside of a public place--there they are puffing away. Since being exposed to asphalt roofing tar my lungs are extra sensitive to everything from cooking smoke in the kitchen, to fumes while driving down the road, to smelling cigarettes in passing. But also, as a parent, my main goal is to protect my child and so I find myself trying to hurrry past these pollutant puffers when in reality it should be them being forced farther and farther away from us. I'm always amazed that people even want to smoke anymore when it has become such a detriment to their social lives...something to ponder I guess.
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Postby Wilberforce » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:04 pm

When I'm in public, I try to hold my breath while I walk past a smoker.
Either that, or I try to walk by them so as I am up-wind of them.
When all else fails, I walk a wide berth around them, or try to stand
about as far away from them as I can.

When you are never around burning tobacco, you become less tolerant
of it. You tend to view smokers as pitifully sick people (they are.)
Not to condemn them personally, rather, to condemn the tobacco
companies, merchants of death.
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Re: Paul Newman's Death Casts Spotlight on Lung Cancer

Postby Carrickk » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:54 pm

I am very surprise to read ov=ut that 70% diseases are exsist in fat people...
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Re: Paul Newman's Death Casts Spotlight on Lung Cancer

Postby momokora » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:36 am

What causes skin cancer and what are the effects? Well, I am 13, and I have gotten two severe sunburns this past month. My mom said they were pretty bad, and they can cause skin cancer in the future. Is this really true? If not what are the real causes of skin cancer? What are the effects?
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Re: Paul Newman's Death Casts Spotlight on Lung Cancer

Postby nhdjert » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:22 pm

its sad many people died of lung cancer. its important to get educated about healthcare. go to careers in healthcare
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