Lung Cancer is #1 Cancer killer in Women! (I didn’t know)

Heart disease is the number one killer in women, but lung cancer is second! With so much media attention, I always assumed it was breast cancer.  I’m feeling the need to get the information out there.  You already know to get a mammogram.  If there is any history of lung cancer in the family (for me an aunt–neither of my parents outlasted the #1 Heart Disease killer), having a knowledgeable radiologist review an annual chest x-ray is a good idea.  If found early, lung cancer is very treatable with surgery.  But most lung cancers are not detected until late Stage 3 or 4.  The only way to find it early is if something is discovered while being treated for another condition.

I feel much better I’ve got that off my chest.  Have I told you lately how much I love music, especially sacred music?  I can tell I’m getting old because there are more and more hymns and sacred songs that make me cry.  Not to be morbid, but I often think as we are singing songs in sacrament meeting about great songs for funerals.  There are the tradition “funeral” songs–“God be with you ’til we Meet Again.”  Yesterday in church we sang,  “The Lord is My Light.”  I found it cheerful and would be thrilled to sing it at a funeral–mine or anyone else’s.  But do not think I am fatalistic–I still floss my teeth every night, and if I didn’t think I had much time left, I’d give up that grooming habit!  I’m here to stay for a while!  And I love that the “Lord is M Light.”

“The Lord is my light; then why should I fear? By day and by night His presence is near.
He is my salvation from sorrow and sin;  This blessed assurance the Spirit doth bring.
The Lord is my light; tho clouds may arise, Faith stronger than sight, looks up to the skies
Where Jesus forever in glory doth reign.  Then how can I ever in darkness remain?
The Lord is my light; the Lord is my strength.  I know in His might, I’ll conquer at length.
My weakness in mercy He covers with power, and walking by faith, I am blessed every hour.
The Lord is my light; my all and in all.  There is in His sight no darkness at all.
He is my Redeemer, my Savior, and King.  With Saints and with angels, His praises I’ll sing.
The Lord is my light, He is my joy, and my song.  By day and night.  He leads, he leads me along.
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11 Responses to Lung Cancer is #1 Cancer killer in Women! (I didn’t know)

  1. Crystalee Beck says:

    Glad you’re still flossing. 😉

    You’re my hero, Auntie. Thanks for being so brave and willing to share your story.

    I love you!


  2. DeLite says:

    Melanie, so glad you have a positive attitude. When we stop to look at it, the gospel is all about the eternity and so, most of the hymns deal with more that this life. The Lord is My Light is also one of my favorite hymns, I think I sang it non-stop during the end of my pregnancy with Eliza. We look forward to having you around for a long time yet, though!
    It’s actually 3 aunts who died of lung cancer. Of mom’s sisters, Doris died at 81 of lung cancer, Mary died at around 77 of brain and lung (where did it begin anyway?), Helen died at 65 of colon cancer and Crystal died at 66 of lung cancer. Crystal was the only smoker. Looks like a pretty strong family trend. So, I read one article online regarding Tarceva indicating that it shows strong potential as a lung cancer prevention medication in those that are genetically predisposed to it. Would you mind asking your oncologist what his thought on that one is when you go in to him (or her) next time?
    I love you!

    • DeLite,

      Thanks sister, I did have the info on the other aunties, but didn’t include on the blog–didn’t want to be too morbid. I’m not sure where aunt Mary’s cancer started, but I’m sorta willing to blame it on lung cancer as well.

      I will ask my oncologist about Tarceva as prevention. I do know the medication is very expensive. Thank goodness we have insurance! We pay $85 for 30 day supply, but the price on the drug receipt was almost $12000. That was for a 90 day supply, but still…. I guess it depends on whether your insurance will cover it. My recommendation is to talk to your doctor about regular chest xrays or ct scans. Of course a radiologist should be looking at the results and advising. A regular family doctor may not have enough experience. (My family doctor certainly didn’t)

      Love you, Melanie

  3. Julie says:

    I want Be Still, My Soul to be sung at my funeral. In fact, all hymns — sung by the congregation — and no sermons would be a great choice.

  4. Arlene says:

    I love you Melanie! Love your insight, wit and inspiration! Keep it coming. Are you ready to go walking soon? I want to go with you when you are up for the adventure. The weather is getting warmer. You are “Sunshine in my soul today.”

    • Arlene,

      I’d love to go for a walk anytime–let’s pick a nice warm sunny day, and go for it! Or we could go to the BYU track at lunch time.

      Hope you are enjoying your sweet family!

      XOxo, Melanie

  5. Val says:

    I thought I was the only one who thought about funeral songs! I have branched out into non-hymns too. Right now I want Michael Bolton’s “Go the Distance” sung at my funeral.

    I love reading your blog. My brother is going through brain cancer and I only wish he was half as strong as you are!

  6. Crystalee Beck says:

    Wow, I just came across this blog about a little boy with cancer. Made tears come. You cancer fighters are an inspiration!

  7. Chalice says:

    As Mom said . . . only floss the teeth you want to keep! I love you. What a sense of humor you have. I am so amazed and thankful to have you as a sister. I have been called as the ward organist, so I play prelude on the piano and fingers only on the organ!

    • Chalice,

      On the three aunts. One of them was a smoker, one in her eighties, and one in her late sixties. But definitely enough to discuss monitoring methods with you doctor, especially with a sister coming down with it at 45!

      I love and appreciate you so much!

      OXox, Melanie

  8. Chalice says:

    I didn’t realize we had 3 aunts on mom’s side die of lung cancer. Well, I guess those jeans are pretty strong.

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