The Number One Cancer Killer of Women is… Lung Cancer.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the Ribbon is Pearl.

Lung cancer is also the number one cancer killer of men. “Every hour, the lives of more than two Canadian mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, and friends will be lost.” This is unfortunately a little known fact with disheartening and serious repercussions. Lack of funding because of stigma (you asked for it and/or the belief that only smokers get this disease),  keeps this cancer a deadly killer despite half who get this disease include never smokers and those who have quit smoking. In a 2015 report, Lung Cancer Canada released that this disease receives only seven per cent of cancer-specific research funding and 0.1 per cent of charitable cancer donations. Further, at 17%, lung cancer still has the lowest five-year survival rate of all major cancers in Canada while five-year survival rates for prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers are 95%, 88%, and 64%, respectively.  This cancer kills more than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined.

Smoking is of course the number one risk factor for lung cancer, however few know radon is the leading environmental cause of lung cancer. “Radon is a radioactive gas that is found naturally throughout our environment. High radon levels that will put you at risk of lung cancer are more likely to be a problem in older homes because national building codes, changed in 2010, require a special barrier of plastic be put under foundations to reduce the amount of gas that can enter your home.” Kits to test your home are available through the Canadian Cancer Society, along with instructions.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) also increases the risk for lung cancer. Asbestos exposure, diesel fumes and air pollution, second hand smoke, genetic predisposition, are also causes. To read more on risks associated with Lung Cancer visit

Read more about Lung cancer  at Windsor Public Library.  We recommend as one of your reads, “When Breath Becomes Air“, by Paul Kalanithi. It is available in both print and e-book format. More items are being ordered as well.

Our downtown/Central location for the month of November has free information leaflets from Lung Cancer Canada as well as several of our books are on display on the second floor.

Please remember, don’t ask a lung cancer patient, “Do you smoke?” No one deserves or asks for cancer of any type and it is not just a smoker’s disease.

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