Belief May Keep Some Lung Cancer Patients From Beneficial Surgery
Almost 40 percent of 626 patients in pulmonary and lung-cancer clinics in five locations believed that exposure of lung cancer to air at the time of cancer surgery promotes spread of the cancer (Article, p. 558). The survey participants were predominantly middle-aged or elderly men using a voluntary, self-administered questionnaire. This belief was more common among those with lower incomes, less education, and among African-Americans. Based on this belief, 24 percent would reject lung cancer surgery, and 19 percent would reject surgery even if their physician recommended it. This finding is troubling, the lead researcher says, because no scientific evidence shows that exposure to air spreads lung cancer. And it's particularly troubling for African-Americans because they have lower rates of lung cancer surgery and lower five-year survival rates than whites. (NOTE: This article is the subject of a video news release. Call for coordinates.)
SARS Taught Four Important Lessons
SARS, which caused a little more than 8,435 infections and 813 deaths, probably received more media and public attention than it warranted compared to other illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, pneumonia, and diarrhea that each cause more sickness and death every year, says Ezekiel Emanuel, a physician and ethicist (Perspective, p. 589). In fact, he says, the global response to SARS taught four lessons:
- Worldwide travel makes infectious diseases in developing countries a threat to everyone. Therefore, people who live in developed countries should be concerned about improving the health and living conditions in developing countries.
- The worldwide public health infrastructure and global cooperation are the keys to containing worldwide epidemics.
- The medical profession cared for the sick despite personal risk and thereby reaffirmed its moral center.
- Measures th
Contact: Penny Fuller
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