Lung cancer

November 17, 2010 2:02:15 PM PST
They're a perplexed group, those dealing with lung cancer. I'm talking both patients and their families and friends.

They cling to every new piece of research, no matter how small or statistically insignificant it might be. And they scratch their heads about why the government isn't doing more to find a cure.

More than 160,000 Americans will die from lung cancer this year. That's more than breast, prostate, pancreatic and colorectal cancers - combined. And yet, despite the death-sentence nature of this cancer (only 1 out of every 6 people diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010 will make it past 2015), it receives just 17% of government cancer research money.

17%.

Maybe that's because people look at lung cancer as a smoker's disease. And so it's viewed as preventable. But here's the harsh reality these days: More than 60% of newly diagnosed lunch cancer patients have either never smoked or have quit smoking.

Lung cancer is never far from my thoughts, because my mom died of it back in January, 1989. She was just 61. I knew back then just how young that was. And I know it more now, as I rapidly approach that age.

Tonight I'll get to talk about my mother - to hundreds of people at the "Uniting Against Lung Cancer" gala that they call "Strolling Supper with Blues and News." I guess I help fulfill the news part of it. Music legend Delbert McClinton holds up the blues banner.

So I'll come to our 11 p.m. newscast with a slightly heavy heart, remembering my mom, thinking about all the people with lung cancer at this event tonight who are clinging to every slice of new research, and wondering how all their family and friends will feel, years from now, coming back to this event.

We'll have any breaking news of the night, plus Nina Pineda taking a look at how haggling is suddenly all the rage. Go into just about any store these days and it's as if Monty Hall works there. (Oh, wait, is that too old a reference?) Everyone is playing the let's- -make-a-deal game. And it can save you some big bucks. Nina shows us how.

Meteorologist Lee Goldberg will have his AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark will have the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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