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The Direction of Cancer Research

April 16, 2001

Thank you so much for making your readers aware of many of the issues faced by lung cancer survivors ("Little Sympathy for Ex-Smokers," March 26), and of the discrepancy in funding for finding a cure and early detection methods, relative to breast cancer. The emphasis on prevention of lung cancer through smoking cessation has completely obscured the need for a cure. If everyone stopped smoking today, there will still be lung cancer for several generations to come.

VICTORIA COLGAN

San Francisco

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I was astounded to learn about the possible gender gap in lung cancer ("Lung Cancer: Signs of a Gender Gap," March 26). After reading the alarming headline, I would have thought the gender gap concerned the fact that twice as many men die from lung cancer as do women (68 men per 100,000 compared with 34 women per 100,000, according to the article). But no, the gap, I learned, is the unproved theory that women may contract lung cancer more easily than men. A related article asked why funding for lung cancer research lags so greatly that of breast cancer. The answer, unmentioned in the article, lies in a gender gap.

MARTIN CONNOR

Adelanto

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