Monday, December 31, 2007

Smoking bans help fight against lung cancer

Here is an article that the Herald-Times ran today. I just wanted to share it with everyone:


Smoking bans help fight against lung cancer

Resolution: Quit breathing secondhand smoke
By Dann Denny 331-4350 |
December 31, 2007

If you’re like most people, your 2008 New Year’s resolution might have something to do with cutting out cheesecake, pedaling the StairMaster, or cleaning up your language on the golf course.

But if you want to live longer, you may wish to make a bit of an unconventional vow — spending less time breathing other people’s cigarette smoke.

According to the American Cancer Society’s 2007 Cancer Facts and Figures, about 3,000 nonsmoking adults in the U.S. — including about 70 in Indiana — die of lung cancer each year as a result of breathing secondhand smoke.

A 2006 report by the U.S. Surgeon General found that nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke — a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar and the smoke exhaled by smokers — increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.

“The scientific evidence indicates there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” the surgeon general’s report says. “The evidence is sufficient to infer a causal relationship between secondhand smoke exposure and lung cancer among lifetime nonsmokers.”

Shirley Lindsey-Sears, director of Bloomington Hospital’s tobacco cessation clinic, said secondhand smoke contains 43 chemicals that cause cancer and is the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. — claiming the lives of 53,000 nonsmokers each year.

She urges adults to choose smoke-free restaurants and to not allow themselves or their children to ride in cars filled with other people’s cigarette smoke or spend significant time in smokers’ homes.

Lindsey-Sears said spending an hour in a closed car with someone who’s smoking is the equivalent of smoking three cigarettes.

“Spending eight hours in an office that allows smoking is the equivalent of smoking six cigarettes,” she said.

“Spending 24 hours in a pack-a-day smoker’s home is the equivalent of smoking three cigarettes.”

No-smoking ordinances help

If you live in Bloomington, where there is a ban on smoking in restaurants, bars and all public places — and where last Tuesday the Indiana University campus went smoke-free — avoiding secondhand smoke is certainly made easier.

The data show that no-smoking ordinances are likely to reduce the incidence of lung cancer, as well as the number of heart attacks, according to the American Cancer Society.

A recently released Indiana University study found that heart attacks among nonsmokers decreased dramatically in Monroe County following the county’s ban on smoking in public places.

The same case can be made for such bans reducing the incidence of lung cancer, said Jen Tucci, state spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society.

Smoke-free laws

Patricia Ells, the American Cancer Society’s Indiana government relations manager, said ordinances banning smoking are playing a significant role in declining U.S. lung cancer rates among men and a leveling-off of lung cancer rates among women.

“The No. 1 cause for the decline in lung cancer incidence is fewer people smoking, but another reason is that fewer people are being exposed to secondhand smoke,” she said. “Smoke-free ordinances result in both fewer people smoking and fewer people breathing secondhand smoke.”

Smoke-free ordinances in several cities and states throughout the U.S. have dramatically decreased people’s exposure to secondhand smoke, Tucci said.

She said a group of 53 California bartenders examined before and after the state’s smoke-free bar and tavern law went into effect were found to have a 5 to 7 percent improvement in overall lung function just one month after the law was implemented.

Tucci also cited a study showing that 46 percent of New York City residents surveyed reported less exposure to secondhand smoke after passage of the city’s smoke-free law, resulting in 157,000 fewer New Yorkers being exposed to secondhand smoke — and that the city’s smoke-free ordinance prompted an estimated 28,000 smokers to quit using tobacco.

Lung cancer deadliest

Ells points out that lung cancer is the deadliest of all cancers, claiming more than 160,000 lives in the U.S. each year — or about 29 percent of all cancer deaths.

Dr. Gregory Kalemkerian, co-director of thoracic oncology at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, said in a news release that lung cancer kills more women than breast cancer, and more men than prostate cancer.

He added that lung cancer claims more lives each year than the next four leading cancer killers — of the breast, prostate, colon and pancreas — combined.

“The biggest problem is that most people with lung cancer are diagnosed late, because early stage symptoms are common to smokers,” he said. “Surgery is the most curable treatment for almost any cancer, but few people with lung cancer come in early enough for us to do this.”

Kalemkerian said 75 percent of cancer patients seek treatment only after experiencing symptoms that are associated with the spread of the disease, such as chest pain, weakness in a limb or bone pain.

He said lung cancer is also difficult to treat because smokers have been heavily exposed to carcinogens, the substances that cause mutations in cells and lead to the development of cancer.

“Lung cancers, because of the exceptional amount of carcinogen exposure, have multiple mutations that make treating and killing the mutated cancerous cells especially hard,” he said.


Help for smokers

Free smoking cessation classes are offered by Bloomington Hospital at 6 p.m. Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 10:30 a.m. Saturdays. Class members receive free nicotine patches, gum and lozenges for up to four weeks. One-on-one sessions by appointment with a cessation expert are also available. Call 353-5811 for more information.

Lung cancer facts

About 213,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with lung cancer every year, and more than 160,000 die from it.

The first symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, weight loss, fatigue and coughing up blood.

Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. About 90 percent of those with the disease are or were smokers. A two-pack-a-day habit for 30 years leads to a 30- to 40-fold increase in risk versus a nonsmoker.

There is little advocacy for lung cancer survivors, mainly because of the high mortality rate and the feeling that victims caused their own disease by smoking.

Exposure to radon, asbestos and hydrocarbons raise one’s risk of developing lung cancer.

Testing for lung cancer is difficult. There is no effective screening test that has reduced mortality rates, but researchers are working on developing a test that they hope will catch the cancer earlier.

Worldwide, 1.2 million people die each year from lung cancer. Sharp increases are being seen in developing countries where tobacco products are becoming increasingly available.


December 31 - Visit to ER

Hello everyone. I hope this finds everyone in good spirits and good health. The holidays are almost over and it's now almost time for me to return to work.

Mom has been doing good, so she says or tells everyone else. Roger says she hides alot of things and doesn't tell people the complete truth. I don't know why she has to try and put on a strong face for everyone else.

Well, last night, I went over to take Devin as he was supposed to spend the day with my step-brother so they could go to the movies. When I got there, mom looked horrible. She said she had been vomiting and had diarrhea for three days, so obliviously she hasn't been able to keep any food down. I couldn't stand to sit there and watch her vomit I called my cousin Angie, who is an oncology nurse. I already knew that she was becoming dehydrated, but I just needed someone to back me up on this. So I pretty much told mom she had to go to the ER! That she was dehydrated and it wasn't good for her. What hasn't helped her is that she has a had a bad cold or infection and has been on a Z pack for an infection.

So, we loaded up the car at 5:30pm and took her to Bloomington Hospital. They did alot of blood work, did an EKG (because of her heart history), took an X-Ray of her chest and hooked her up to Sodium Choride. All of her blood work came back good. Her INR level was back down to 2.7. Apparently it was high last Thursday. White Blood count looked good. Her x-ray was a little cloudy according to Dr. Watters, but he said that could be do to the infection she was fighting. So they made her lay there and take some more fluids then they let her go home. All together she got about 700ml of fluid. We finally got out of there about 10pm. Not bad for a visit to the ER.


I just got off the phone with mom. She's doing good considering she says. She said she was able to eat an egg this morning and that my step-brother brought her some protein mix that Special K makes. She's still horse and still has diarrhea, but seems alot better than yesterday. She has a doctor's appointment Friday. I'll be so happy to go talk to Dr. Dayton.


Well, I need to get off here and do some cleaning. My house looks like an earthquake struck then a tornado went through. Love you all. Please call me if you want. I don't know if I'd be able to tell you much more though.

Have a safe and Happy New Year.

Monday, December 3, 2007

November 29th - GOOD NEWS!!

Sorry I haven't been on here in awhile. I've been busy working two jobs and running Devin around (Scouts, Church, Basketball...) There's just not much time left at the end of the days. Not to mention my don't wanna see it. It's 10 times worse than it normally is....NOW THAT'S SCARY!!

Mom had a doctor's appointment on the 29th of November. We got the CT Scan results. GOOD NEWS IS.....The treatments are doing their job and the cancer has slightly decreased. They don't believe it's in her adrenal glands now as they didn't respond to the scan as normal cancer tumors would. So, Left upper lobe and liver.... Still Stage IV. Dr. Dayton wants mom to stay on the same regiment as she has been on, which is Carbo Platin, Taxol and Avastin. I believe she'll go through another 3-4 rounds (which consist of 1 treatment a week for 3 weeks, then a week off), then they'll do another scan.

Please, Please, Please....continue to keep my mother in your prayers! I believe that PRAYER WORKS!! While you're at it...throw up a few extra for the rest of my family too. My uncle isn't in the greatest of shape. Last I heard he was in the hospital. My cousin, Carrie, is doing Great and we want her to stay that way! The rest of us just need strength to make it through all of this.

Well, it is late and I must get to bed. Thanks for keeping up with mom and her condition and for all your prayers. I know she appreciates everything everyone has done for her. May God Bless each and everyone of you and your families this holiday season and beyond....

Much Love,


Songs for Mom