Throughout history, people have justifiably feared diseases that could not be prevented or effectively treated. In the early 20th century, around 675,000 people in the U.S. died from the Spanish flu because there were no vaccines or antibiotics. Polio outbreaks in the late 1940s and early 1950s, caused permanent paralysis in about 15,000 people each year. As vaccines and medical treatments for infectious diseases advanced, other medical conditions earned the designations of “most feared”.
One of the most feared diseases of the 20th century continues even today as one of peoples’ most dreaded diagnosis – cancer. The doctor’s words, “you have cancer” are simply terrifying. The diagnosis seems like a death sentence regardless of the type of cancer. Patients want to know the impossible – how long I have to live?
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, making up almost 25% of all cancer deaths – more deaths than colon, breast, and prostate cancer deaths combined. According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer five-year survival rate (18.6 percent) is lower than many other leading cancers, such as colorectal (64.5 percent), breast (89.6 percent) and prostate (98.2 percent) and over 50% of people with lung cancer die within 1 year of being diagnosed. Approximately 85% of all lung cancer diagnoses are caused by smoking. Causes of lung cancer unrelated to smoking include exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke, radon, asbestos, and other inhaled toxins.
But there is good news! The number of the number of new lung cancer cases in the U. S continues to decrease each year as people quit smoking and others never start. The reduction in smoking is a testament to the successful public health work by federal, state, and other organizations. The public health work started in the 1950s with the growing body of research linking cigarette smoking and lung cancer Check out these early TV public service announcements!
1960s Anti-Smoking Film: The Inside Story (Michigan Cancer Foundation)
Public Service Announcements PSAs – 1950s-1960s (Retro Vault)
Bill Talman Anti-Smoking Cancer Commercial – His Brave Battle (The Life and Sad Ending)
This Weekend Reading Series begins with In the News, with some of the latest on healthcare costs, disparities, and other topics. Next, check out Every Breath exploring lung cancer identification, treatment, and smoking trends. In Don’t Be Fooled, find the facts on current issues that were frequently mischaracterized in the media. Last, but not least, check out In the Air and my personal favorite about the white stallions’ airs above ground – The Lipizzaner: cultured, world-renowned and steeped in European history.
I hope you enjoy the following:
1. In the News
- ACA’s maximum out-of-pocket limit is growing faster than wages (Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker)
- Health Disparities in Employer-Sponsored Insurance (Morgan Health and NORC at the University of Chicago)
- An early look at what is driving health costs in 2023 ACA markets (Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker)
- Deadly Bacteria in U.S. Soil Not Tied to Lab Leak, Aromatherapy. CDC calls Mississippi strain ‘a new one that has not been seen previously’ (MedPage Today)
2. Every Breath
- Many Smokers Who Want to Quit Just End Up Vaping, Too (HealthDay)
- Tax increases on e-cigs likely to boost cigarette smoking among young adults (Yale News- Yale University)
- Blood test may improve lung cancer screening (Futurity)
- Smoking and Vaping Remain Steady and Low in U.S. (Gallup)
- UW study strengthens evidence of link between air pollution and child brain development (University of Washington)
3. Don’t Be Fooled
- Encouraged by right-wing doctor groups, desperate patients turn to ivermectin for long Covid (STAT)
- Depression: low serotonin may not be the cause – but antidepressants still work (The Conversation)
- BLOTS ON A FIELD? A neuroscience image sleuth finds signs of fabrication in scores of Alzheimer’s articles, threatening a reigning theory of the disease (Science.org)
- New 988 hotline doesn’t currently use geolocation services CLAIM: Using the new 988 mental health hotline “will automatically route your geolocation information to local authorities.” (Associated Press)
- The Fögen Effect Masks a Big Methodological Issue A German doctor believes wearing a mask can make COVID-19 worse, but his paper jumps to unwarranted conclusions (McGill Office for Science and Society (OSS)/McGill University)
4. In the Air
- How the Air Fryer Crisped Its Way Into America’s Heart. Though the device is sold as a way to make foods crunchy without deep-frying, home cooks have put it to countless other uses — and fed a billion-dollar business. (New York Times)
- The True History Behind Ron Howard’s ‘Thirteen Lives”. A new film dramatizes the harrowing attempts to save a group of boys trapped in a cave in Thailand in 2018 (Smithsonian Magazine)
- The Lipizzaner: cultured, world- renowned and steeped in European history (Horse and Hound)
- The Unexpected History of the Air Conditioner. The invention was once received with chilly skepticism but has become a fixture of American life (Smithsonian Magazine)
Enjoy your weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Email: [email protected]