on air now

World Cancer Day campaign aims to destigmatise lung cancer

Cancer Australia have chosen to highlight lung cancer for this year’s World Cancer Day.

Lung cancer is Australia’s biggest killer despite being the fifth most common cancer overall.

As Australia undertakes an inquiry into lung cancer screening, Cancer Australia CEO Professor Dorothy Keefe tells Deb Knight the disease is “front of mind”.

She says the stigma associated with the disease can have a huge impact on patients’ mental health, and needs to be combatted.

A survey conducted by Cancer Australia shows around one in five Australians believe people who get lung cancer have themselves to blame.

Professor Keefe says there are many factors which contribute to lung cancer, and 20 per cent of cases have no association with smoking.

“I think we should be very careful [in] how we approach people. If you’re diagnosed with cancer, you need care and love and attention. You don’t need to be told off.”

“That very loaded phrase ‘lifestyle choice’ should be banned from the vocabulary.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview