My headline is a little mischievous. But the death toll from lung cancer makes it the biggest cancer killer worldwide. If you strip out my non-smoker lung cancer and make that a cancer of its own that’s seventh on the list of killers.
I feel a little bit peeved that the biggest killer doesn’t get the biggest research grants. And while there are probably good reasons which I’ll speculate on below my little selfish streak isn’t happy.
Not that there’s much I can do about it. And the idea of “hey, that cancer that your Mum survived should get less cash because I’ve got something even worse” isn’t really sporting.
So why doesn’t lung cancer get more cash hurled at it by the charities that raise so much?
- A lack of celebrity survivors. You get lung cancer and you’re pretty much done for. You don’t survive to adorn the cover of a magazine looking gorgeous and suggesting people donate to the cause.
- People don’t donate because they see lung cancer as a self-inflicted smokers’ disease. That was certainly my presumption a year ago. How I’ll-informed I was.
- Because with lung cancer you’re done for, the research money follows the successes of previous research into the cancers where survival is becoming more and more common.
I find it frustrating. Partly because I know the pathway to a lung cancer “cure” seems mighty close. Partly because it’s highly likely that I will just run out of time before the longer lasting treatments get to me. That’s not negative thinking, it’s a realistic assessment based on statistics.
Above all I feel a little contempt at myself for thinking “it’s unfair” the way they dish the money out and my disease should get more. I can rationally stand back and appreciate why it doesn’t and how it might be fair after all. But still be annoyed all the same.