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'Stigma'

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A new report issued by the Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada says lung cancer patients may not be getting the full care they need because of the "stigma" surrounding smoking, says the Canadian press agency QMI. Lung cancer researchers may not be getting the funding they need, either, the report adds.

"Smokers are often individuals who live in low socioeconomic circumstances and may not be highly educated. These characteristics can reinforce stigma," says registered nurse Michelle Lobchuck, who authored the report. Even though 10 percent of lung cancer patients have never smoked, they also face this bias, Lobchuck adds. In her study of 304 lung cancer patients, Lobchuck found that they faced lower quality of care and anger from caregivers if they decided to keep smoking, QMI adds.

Further, although lung cancer causes 27 percent of cancer-related deaths in Canada, it only gets 7 percent of the country's cancer research funding. In contrast, QMI says, breast cancer causes 10 percent of cancer-related deaths in Canada, but get 28 percent of cancer research funding.

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