Lung cancer diagnosis and treatment should be “stigma-free”

Navy Veteran James Pantelas stated he’s confronted serious stigma in his lifestyles as a most cancers survivor. When he used to be recognized with metastatic lung most cancers 15 years ago, pals and family said: “Well, you knew this was once coming.”

Lung cancer diagnosis and treatment should be “stigma-free”

Although he end 4 years earlier than his diagnosis, Pantelas had been a smoker. After his diagnosis, one of his stepsons was once so indignant they did now not communicate for a few years. “He notion it was once my fault. We’ve considering that labored that out, however it does have an influence on families.”

When he was once diagnosed, he additionally blamed himself. “I’m now not announcing smoking doesn’t reason cancer. It does motive a lot of cancers.”

He thinking about different possible cancer-causing exposures he’s had.

Pantelas was once uncovered to asbestos (which can expand chance of lung cancer) at some stage in his Navy carrier in the 1970s. He additionally raised pet birds. There is some proof to advocate that birds’ dander can make bigger lung most cancers risk.

Lung cancer patients should be treated with empathy:

Whether or no longer a character has numerous non-smoking threat factors, smoked their complete life, or in no way smoked, the reality remains, he said: They must be dealt with with empathy. “

The concept that any individual “brings lung most cancers upon themselves,” isn’t backed with the aid of science. According to the American Cancer Society, as many as 20% of human beings in the United States who died from lung most cancers in 2018 in no way smoked.

Some research have proven that the lifetime danger of lung most cancers amongst contemporary people who smoke is round 11% for female and round 14% for men. Not all of us who smokes develops lung cancer.

The stress of household troubles like these skilled by way of Pantelas can purpose even greater fitness problems. So can the stress of stigma via fitness care providers, he explained.

“I had a physician say, ‘If I have a affected person who tells me they in no way smoked and they obtained lung cancer, I simply comprehend they’re lying.’ That’s why empathy and decreased stigma are important.”

Atlanta VA doctor has “stigma free zone”

Pantelas, who beat the odds via surviving an aggressive structure of most cancers for greater than a decade, offers a lot of savings to fitness care vendors who are working to limit stigma.

 Dr. Drew Moghanaki, chief of the radiation oncology branch at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, is one such provider. Pantelas stated Dr. Moghanaki has labored to make his facility a “stigma free zone.” Those efforts, the Navy Veteran emphasized, are “outstanding.