Looking back, I realize that I've been trying to report my way out of this disease. I've read so many books; researched hundreds of clinical trials; done my best to learn the complicated language of cancer and microbiology; attended conferences in Indiana, Florida, Mexico and Portugal. I joined online forums. I signed on with the user name “WontDieofIgnorance.” Despite it all, I fear that is exactly what is going to happen. I might as well have been playing Chutes and Ladders, a childhood board game whose outcome is based on rolls of the dice.
As a doctor, I would just like to remind everyone that the #1 cure for lung cancer is simply not smoking. 90-95% of lung cancers are caused by smoking and all-cancer mortality would be reduced 50% by not smoking. Billions can be spent on lung cancer drug development and it will only lead to a 3-4 month added survival. I would like to see the non-smokers get back the health insurance dollars being used on smokers through a $4/pack health insurance tax. The extra cost would reduce smoking through economic reasons and the revenue would pay for care of currently uninsured without having to raise taxes elsewhere. I don’t see any politician spouting this simple advice.