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Cancer Survivors? Yes. COPD Survivors? No.

December 30th, 2009 by Sharon O'Hara

A government controlled Health Care System is Shudder Worthy and may have inspired the recent letter to the editor from a breast cancer survivor and doctor objecting to the cut back on mammograms for women. Their letter prompted mine and I am posting it again here.

People may not be aware of the real life discrepancies between medical conditions and one is not better or worse than another. They are all challenging to the patient and her/his medical team.
The difference is in the research and patient education.
Perhaps one day a patient can say, “I am a COPD survivor.”
For now, there are no COPD survivors.
******************************
“Debbie Belew-Nyquist, Ed.D., Bremerton and Joseph L. Johnson, M.D., Silverdale should be applauded for speaking up for their belief.

My sincere congratulation to all cancer survivors, especially lung cancer survivors.
The lung cancer patients have a higher fatality rate, I understand, due to lack of reliable early detection testing. By the time its detected, the disease is advanced.

That said: COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) kills more people per year than breast and lung cancer combined.
It is the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S., 5th in the world.

A simple and inexpensive Spirometry test done in any doctor’s office offers early detection of a disease that generally takes twenty years before a patient develops symptoms bothersome enough to mention the shortness of breath to their doctor. By then, they have already lost about 50% of their lungs.

The Spirometry test is inexpensive and offers the patient knowledge they have COPD. Early warning testing gives most patients the opportunity to stop the disease from developing further.

The glitch is many doctors will not use it, I’ve been told, because they do not believe the patient will make life style changes to stop the disease.

I think they sell us short – the Spirometry early detection, nay-saying docs do not give us the opportunity to make decisions.
They most certainly have not given us the opportunity to make the changes.

The Spirometry test shouldn’t cost more than $100.
If the simple test shows that further testing is needed that is more costly, but far less so than allowing the disease to develop further. COPD gets ugly and a slow smother to death.
Worse, the non-rolling stone COPD gathers moss.
The medical ‘moss’ of COPD acts as a magnet for the other disease stuff. Some of it is really unpleasant.

Cancer detection and research development has been alive and well.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) has little to no research and most of our drugs were developed for asthma, not us…quite a different disease.

“We have come too far than to start going backwards with health care.”

COPD is already backwards. It is time to bring it into the present.”

Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2009/dec/20/my-turn-the-real-cost-of-limiting-cancer/#ixzz0bFFMSOk9

More later… Sharon O’Hara
Happy Holidays to all!

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2 Responses to “Cancer Survivors? Yes. COPD Survivors? No.”

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This is a patient to patient blog to exchange information and resources...from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) to Arthritis to Cellulites to Sarcoidosis to Sleep Apnea to RLS to Psoriasis to Support Groups to Caregivers and all points in between. Written by Sharon O'Hara.

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