Lung Cancer Alliance On the Death of Paul Newman
All of us at Lung Cancer Alliance, our Board, our advocates and the patients, families and caregivers we represent, extend our deepest sympathy to the wife and family of Paul Newman.
Mr. Newman was an icon of the American stage and film, loved by audiences around the world. He and his devoted and equally talented wife, Joanne Woodward, changed the lives of people in the United States and around the world through their many philanthropic projects.
Two months ago reports began to appear in the press that Mr. Newman was undergoing treatment for lung cancer. Those reports were unconfirmed and respecting the family's privacy we made no public comment at that time, even though we were dismayed at how callously Mr. Newman was being described as a "former chain smoker" with all the insinuations about lung cancer inherent in that label.
Mr. Newman was first and foremost a great man and that is how he should be remembered. We do not know what cancer took his life. We do know that a wonderful man is gone and we mourn his passing.
The stigma and blame associated with lung cancer has added to the burden that all lung cancer patients, and their families, must bear whether they smoked or not.
Over 215,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, and the majority will die within 12 months. More people die from lung cancer than breast, prostate, colon, kidney, melanoma and liver cancers combined. Over half of them are former smokers many of whom quit decades ago and do not even realize that they will always be at higher risk. Another 15% have never smoked at all.
Our commitment to all who have died and to all those families that have been hurt by this deadly disease is: We will change this.
Lung Cancer Alliance (www.LungCancerAlliance.org) is the only national non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to patient support and advocacy for those living with or at risk for lung cancer.