Social Stigma Burdens Innovative Lung Cancer-Therapies, Study Says

According to a recently published study by researchers Laura Grigolon (University of Mannheim) and Laura Lasio (McGill University in Montreal), social stigma towards diseases such as lung cancer can hinder patients to seek treatment and, as a consequence, negatively affects the diffusion of innovative therapies.

“Lung cancer carries a unique social stigma due to its association with cigarette smoking, and hence is often seen as a smoker’s disease, self-inflicted, and preventable,” researchers Laura Grigolon at the University of Mannheim and Laura Lasio at McGill University in Montreal wrote in the paper.

In Canada, 22 percent of the population admitted to have less sympathy for a person with lung cancer than people with other tumours, a 2010 survey by the Global Lung Cancer Coalition stated.

Compared with patients affected by cancers with similar survival chances, lung cancer patients accessed treatment to a significantly lesser extent, the authors said. Treatment rates are around 25 percent for metastatic lung cancer, but reach 60 percent for colorectal cancer patients. Moreover, while lung cancer is responsible for 32 percent of cancer deaths in the US, it receives only 10 percent of cancer research funding, other research showed.

For more information, please see the press release.