Does lung cancer carry a stigma?‘Nobody deserves to get cancer.’

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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In September, Venetia Quick appeared on The Ryan Tubridy Show to talk about her late husband, Martin, who died of lung cancer. As a result, The Marie Keating Foundation got in touch to ask her to get involved in their campaign for Lung Cancer Awareness Month, taking place this month.

The ‘I am Lung Cancer’ campaign aims to “stop the stigma associated with lung cancer” and encourage people to get checked by their doctor at an earlier stage. Venetia told Ryan that it stemmed from research conducted by The Marie Keating Foundation, which suggested that 34% of adults “agree that lung cancer patients face stigma from the public that other cancer patients don’t”.

“1 in 10 believe that this is totally acceptable. So, 1 in 10 people is saying that well, you know, you got lung cancer. So, you deserve it.”

This belief works off the assumption that lung cancer patients are or were smokers, Venetia explained.

“People don’t necessarily have to smoke to get lung cancer. And even if they did smoke and got lung cancer, like, do they really deserve to be blamed for it? No, they don’t.

Making the point that “you don’t necessarily get a cancer from doing one thing”, Venetia encouraged people to take a look at the judgements they might be making.

“People choose certain lifestyles and don’t necessarily make good lifestyle choices. Some people smoke. Some people eat 10 doughnuts or Big Macs a day. Some people drink too much or binge drink. Some people lie in the sun too much. We all make bad lifestyle choices along the way…nobody deserves cancer.”

Listen back to the full interview on The Ryan Tubridy Show here.

For more information about Lung cancer awareness month, visit

© The Listener 2018

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