Reconciled with Cancer

May 05, 2012

Since diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer on October 22, 2010, former Health Minister of Indonesia, Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih, finally had to reconcile with her disease. She died on May 2, 2012 at the RSCM Kencana, Jakarta, after struggling for nearly two years. Such a spirit of living with cancer, while many others are willing to just gave up the hope. Endang had never complained about her illness, and always showed her tender and warm smile to everyone she met, while she suffered from cancer.

For her, suffering lung cancer is considered to be a gift from God. If I was given a disease, I must be grateful. Why should I be glad, if I were given the gift of happiness, while given the disease was not?, said Endang in front of dozens of cancer patients who survived.

A Harvard University of U.S. graduate who was always repeatedly explained, that her illness wasn't caused by smoking. Endang wasn't an active or passive smoker. In her home environment, there are nobody who smoked. Despite by smoking itself, air pollutions and some chemical substances are also known as lung cancer trigger.

I do not smoke. I don't know what caused it, the cancer was suddenly appeared. Many diseases are known of having unknown causes, said Endang in an interview on January 18, 2011. On the contrary to other cancers, lung cancer can't be detected. It doesn't even show early symptoms at all, though it had reached the advanced stage.

Cigarettes and Lung Cancer

Lung cancer has changed in status from an uncommon disease to one that now represents the most common cause of death from cancer of any site in men. Chemical and biological studies have indicated that there are at least 8 compounds present in tobacco smoke from cigarettes which can cause cancer in experimental animals.

This has moved many leading governments, to issue statements concerning the health hazard of cigarette smoking, and to conclude that smoking is the principle cause of the increase in lung cancer. Such statements have also come from the Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, the Medical Research Council of Great Britain, The Research Council of Sweden, the Health Council of Holland, and the National Cancer Institute of Canada.

Some scientific investigators have expressed doubt as the significance of the association between smoking and lung cancer. They have criticized the statistical studies as failing to take into account constitutional differences, and other environmental factors, which may influence the development of lung cancer. Others feel that producing cancer in animals by painting their skins with tobacco extracts, doesn't demonstrate that human lung cancers are caused by the same substances.

An extensive study of 402 men at autopsy has given added weight to the correlation between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. The report, based on microscopic examination of 19,797 lung sections, showed that changes in the air passageways (the tracheo-bronchial tree) varied dramatically with the amount of cigarettes smoked. The pathologists were not told of the type of case, or smoking history during the reading of the slides.

The smallest number of changes were found in those who never smoked, or smoked only occasionally. With the increase in amount of cigarettes smoked, there was a progressive increase in the number of abnormal changes present. The greatest number of changes were present in those who smoked 2 or more packs of cigarettes per day.

Sources :

  • Jawa Pos, Headlines, May 3, 2012.
  • Cigarettes and Lung Cancer article is part of my previous post by Sylvia Frank, Research Reports Coordinator, Research Department, American Cancer Society.

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