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Stop asking the wrong question about lung cancer


Australians have spent too long asking the wrong question about lung cancer.

It doesn’t matter whether or not someone smoked. Instead, we should be asking the right questions – of our government, our community and ourselves. Why aren’t people living with lung cancer getting a fair go when it comes to research, treatment and support?

Each hour, an Australian watches a loved one die from lung cancer. It’s a disease that kills more people than breast and ovarian cancers combined.

Yet, at the same time, more than a third (35%) of Australians believe those living with lung cancer only have themselves to blame. Forty percent of Australians admit the first question they’d ask someone diagnosed with lung cancer – without first expressing concern – is whether they smoked.

It ends today. This conversation needs to change, and we’re asking for your support.

Whether anyone living with lung cancer has smoked or not, they deserve our support. To understand the true impact of lung cancer stigma please download our report.

We’re asking
for a fair go
for lung cancer

A fair go for research.



A fair go for research.

Lung cancer is Australia’s biggest cancer killer. Yet it receives a fraction of cancer research funding.

Stigma is stifling the will to find a cure for lung cancer – and we need to ask why.

Research changes lives. It explores treatments, improves tests and increases quality of life. Whether they smoke, stopped smoking or never smoked in their lives, all lung cancer patients deserve the funding and resources to make it a fair fight.

A fair go for treatment.



A fair go for treatment.

Only 17% of people living with lung cancer are still alive five years after diagnosis. But many people delay diagnosis and treatment because of stigma – from their employers, their friends, and even their healthcare providers.

We need to ask why.

This attitude stops people seeking help when they know something is wrong, and a delay in diagnosis or treatment can impact a person’s chances of survival. Everyone deserves the very best treatment.

A fair go for support.



A fair go for support.

Nobody should have to go through cancer alone. But the stigma around lung cancer leaves many people living with lung cancer feeling as though they can’t confide in their friends and family. In fact, half of all people living with lung cancer experience anxiety, depression or distress.

Stigma is leaving Australians living with lung cancer isolated when they’re at their most vulnerable – and we need to ask why.

Dealing with lung cancer is hard enough. We must do more to support those living with lung cancer.


It is imperative that as a nation we rid ourselves of the stigma we know is having a devastating impact on the funding, research, treatment and support needed for people living with lung cancer and other lung diseases.
— Professor Christine Jenkins AM, Chair of Lung Foundation Australia