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12.31 6 Nov 2018


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A new study has found 27% of the Irish public believe non-smokers who get lung cancer should have their treatment prioritised over those who smoke.

The research from the Marie Keating Foundation has been released to mark the beginning of International Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Almost one-fifth (17%) also believe health insurers should not cover lung cancer patients who smoke for treatment.

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The figure for those under-25 rises to almost three in 10 (29%) who believe the same.

While just over one-third (34%) of adults agree that lung cancer patients face stigma from the public that other cancer patients do not - and one in 10 believe this is acceptable.

The Marie Keating Foundation is launching its 'I Am Lung Cancer' campaign - which aims to challenge these negative perceptions around the disease and to humanise it by showcasing the range of people it affects.

The 'I Am Lung Cancer' campaign by the Marie Keating Foundation 

The campaign is being fronted by three ambassadors who have been affected by lung cancer, and will include a radio advertisement, a video and social media campaign.

Liz Yeates is CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation: "More people die from lung cancer every year than any other type of cancer.

"It kills more women than breast cancer, despite breast cancer cases far outnumbering those of lung and more men die from lung cancer then prostate or testicular cancer.
"Our 'I Am Lung Cancer' campaign aims to challenge the stereotypes so closely associated with the disease.

"Many people have an image of who they believe a lung cancer patient is, but this campaign illustrates the variety of people it can affect. We want to change the conversation and tone around lung cancer from one of judgement to one of empathy and support."

The research also revealed a lack of awareness when it comes to the symptoms of lung cancer.

Less than one in five (16%) adults claim to be well informed when it comes to the signs and symptoms.

This contrasts with almost one-third (31%) who say they are well informed in relation to breast cancer and over one-quarter (26%) in relation to skin cancer.

More than 2,500 cases of lung cancer are diagnosed annually in Ireland and the five-year survival rate is just 18%.

Lung cancer symptoms include a persistent cough, shortness of breath, rapid and unexplained weight loss, fatigue and coughing up blood.


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