So, lung cancer.
Lung cancer is awful. It’s painful and aggressive and moves through the body like lightning. Left unchecked, it can metastasize into other tissues and other parts of the body (like, say, the adrenal glands, the skeleton, and the breast – or worst of all, the brain). Late stage cancer can’t be cured, although it can be treated with operations, chemotherapy, and radiation — although not always. Over 1.3 million people die each year from lung cancer, and those deaths are often painful, undignified, and tragically fast: the average prognosis for life span from diagnosis to death of a Stage 4 lung cancer patient is 8 months.
Lung cancer sucks.
According to the Center for Disease Control, more women die of lung cancer than of any other type of cancer, including breast or uteran cancer. In the United States alone, over 93,000 women a year are diagnosed with lung cancer. That’s roughly 254 women a day, or 21 an hour.
I was trying to figure out how to frame that in a way that would make sense to anyone, especially me (I am an avowed narcissist, and it’s my blog, after all!). Something that would provide a visual in my head for quick/easy comparison, especially since math has never been my strong suit (as my poor accountant knows this all too well).
On average, I have about 18 students per semester per course in the classes I teach at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Applying the above statistics to my enrollment numbers, that means that once class of students an hour could be diagnosed with lung cancer and I’d still come up a couple short to meet the national average.
That is some sick shit.
Smoking cigarettes remains the number one (let’s say that again, but loudly – THE NUMBER ONE) cause of lung cancer, although non-smokers have contracted it and died from it. It’s the carcinogens in cigarettes and the nicotine, which suppresses the immune system, that triggers the cancer in those that get it.
Once more, with feeling: lung cancer SUCKS.
To be continued.