Canadian Lung Association Blog

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My Experience With Lung Cancer – Epilogue


[See previous posts – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6] On March 17, 2016, 26 months after receiving her diagnosis of lung cancer, Dr. Terry-Nan Tannenbaum passed away. The courage with which she struggled against lung cancer is evident from the six instalments of her blog. The Lung Association was truly blessed to have a friend such as Dr. Terry-Nan Tannenbaum. From 1999 to 2006, Terry-Nan was the Medical Director of a project to develop a TB control program in Ecuador. The project was funded by CIDA through the Canadian Lung Association. During this time, Ecuador went from having the

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Posted in Lung Cancer, Research, Stories, TB

5 minutes with Dr. Stephen Lam


Why is research into early detection of lung cancer so important? One in 12 Canadians will receive a lung cancer diagnosis in his or her lifetime. Lung cancer accounts for more than a quarter of cancer deaths in Canada. Unlike routine screening tests for colon, cervical or breast cancer, there is no widely accepted screening tool to detect lung cancer at an early stage. The high survival rates seen in other cancers is largely due to easily accessible national screening programs. By contrast, the 5-year survival rate for lung cancer remains at 17 percent, the lowest of all the major

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Posted in Lung Cancer, Lung Health, Research

Janet’s story: Six years ago I was diagnosed with lung cancer

Janet's Story

Guest blog by Janet Whitehead Six years ago I was diagnosed with lung cancer. I had most of my left lung and lymph nodes removed in my first surgery and tumours removed from my right lung in a second surgery three months later. I’ve never smoked. Finding out I had lung cancer was a huge shock for me. Like many people, I thought only people who smoked got lung cancer. But that’s not the case. Indoor radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking – and as it turns out I had been exposed to a lot of

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Posted in Lung Cancer, Stories

Canadian Home Builders’ Association partners with BC Lung Association to fuel action on indoor radon

warning labels

Indoor radon is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking Anyone preparing to buy a new house in BC should be aware of new BC Building Code measures regarding indoor radon – an invisible, odourless soil gas that occurs in areas across Canada and is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. A serious health risk, radon poses the greatest danger when it builds up to high levels inside buildings and people are exposed to it over a long period of time. To reduce radon-related health risks, the BC government recently added new radon-related measures to the Building

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Cancer

My Experience With Lung Cancer – Part 6: When things are hard

[See previous blogs – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5] March 6, 2015: The last month has been the hardest so far. The cancer progressed despite the new treatment, and that led to a fracture of my spine with back pain that kept me in bed for weeks. I had surgery to stabilize the back two weeks ago and finally feel that I am starting to get some strength and mobility back. And I will be starting a new chemotherapy today. It has been almost impossible to keep up any kind of morale, but again it

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Posted in Lung Cancer, Stories

My Experience With Lung Cancer – Part 5: Lung Cancer Awareness

[See previous blogs – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4] I haven’t written a blog since the summer.  I am not sure why – I think it is because I wasn’t sure what else I could say that would be helpful or interesting. The summer was difficult. I had several complications from the cancer – phlebitis, pneumonia, pneumonitis – and they all took a long time to resolve. But the most difficult event was learning at the end of July that the cancer was continuing to spread despite the drug I was on.  Since then I have

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Posted in Lung Cancer, Stories

Susan’s story: Never start smoking, and if you do smoke, quit now.

Art & Susan     Nov 2013 - cropped

Susan grew up in the ‘60s and ‘70s, a time when one in two Canadians over the age of 15 smoked, and smoked everywhere: in workplaces; universities; restaurants; airplanes; even in doctors’ offices. Like many of her generation, Susan started smoking in her teens. By the time she was in her twenties, she was a single mom with a serious addiction to nicotine. When Susan met Art in the ‘80s, the harms of tobacco smoke were becoming better known. Susan knew she had to quit smoking, and once she and Art decided to have more children, she finally had the

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Posted in Lung Cancer, Smoking & Tobacco, Stories

Setting the Record Straight About Radon: Part 2

Radon - Is it in Your Home - Graphic

Last month, we dispelled 5 myths related to radon. This month we tackle 5 more misconceptions. To read Part 1 of this blog, click here. Myths: 1)       Help! I’m worried my granite countertop is releasing large amounts of radon. Fact: Radon is in fact produced by granite, which contains varying levels of uranium. Certain granites may contain more natural uranium that others, and therefore, may produce more radiation. In 2010, Health Canada conducted a study on granite purchased in Canada, and found that the granite produced no significant levels of radon. Radon generally occurring in the air of the home

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Cancer, Lung Health

Setting the Record Straight About Radon: Part 1

takeactiononradon_web button_3

Since many of you will be taking the time to test your homes for radon, The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT would like to take the time to clarify common misconceptions about radon. Below you’ll find 5 common myths, and the reasons why they are myths. If you don’t know what radon is, visit  and first! Myths: 1)       There’s no radon in Alberta. Fact: No region of the country is considered “radon-free”, but the levels of radon differ from region to region depending on the uranium concentration in the soil. The large majority of homes will have some

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Cancer, Lung Health

My Experience With Lung Cancer – Part 4: What can be next??

picture of Terry

[See previous blogs – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3] I finished the previous blog two weeks ago, after having radiotherapy to the lesions in my brain, and feeling pretty positive again. And while trying to ignore the swelling in my left leg. It couldn’t be ignored for very long, and by that afternoon I was diagnosed with another complication of cancer, a deep vein thrombosis. This is a blood clot that forms in the deeper, inside veins of the leg and in my case the thigh. It can occur in other situations besides cancer, such as after surgery

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Posted in Lung Cancer, Stories