Lung Cancer, the Deadliest of all Cancers, Receives Far Less Funding, Empathy in Asheville Area

ASHEVILLE — Lung cancer doesn’t have an iconic ribbon or well-known signature color. In fact, it doesn’t even have its own support group in Western North Carolina.

Yet lung cancer will take more lives this year than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers combined.

November marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month, but as many area physicians, health workers and patients have noticed, awareness is in relatively short supply. But in even shorter supply for lung cancer patients is public empathy.

In the wake of ‘Pink October’s’ flood of breast cancer awareness efforts, the elephant in the room is one thing that hasn’t been painted pink, but remains a distinct shade of lung cancer’s signature gray.

“Lung cancer certainly kills more people, but it doesn’t have the sexy marketing campaign that breast cancer has had,” said Becky Pitts, a lung cancer nurse navigator at Mission Hospital, and a breast cancer survivor herself.

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