Once referred to as “the C word”, the stigma related to cancer has reduced significantly in recent decades. Despite this, stigma persists, particularly with some cancers more than others.
- – Cancer was associated with death, so healthcare providers avoided telling people that they had cancer to avoid being cruel and taking away hope
- – The American Cancer Society was formed in 1913 to alleviate the fear and fatalism of cancer
- – Anesthesia and chemotherapy increased survival rates, and with them increased efforts to find a cause and cure for cancer. This progress began to lessen the fear.
- – Stigma is based in fear and silence, which interfere with timely diagnosis and treatment, and subsequent recovery, in addition to isolation.
- – 54% of people with lung cancer believe that there is a stigma related to having lung cancer.
- – 47% of people with lung cancer believe that they are treated differently than other types of cancer. 
- – Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death
- – 18% of people with lung cancer never smoked
- – 60% are former smokers
- – Lung cancer receives a significantly lower percentage of funding compared to other cancers.
- – Only 12% of survey respondents (said lung cancer should receive more funding (compared to 25% for breast cancer). 
- – Half of patients with rectal cancer surveyed felt stigmatized because of the cancer. Those with a colostomy more so.
- – The stigma surrounding breast cancer affecting women has lessened remarkably in recent years. (Read guest blog article by Leslie Jay-Gould here.)
- – Men get breast cancer too, and they often feel embarrassed because of erroneous thinking that it is a women’s disease.
 Holland, JC and Gooen-Piels, J. (Eds) (2003). Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine, 6th edition, BC Decker.
 Lung cancer and social stigma: Survey results, Lung Cancer Alliance & Astrazeneca. Accessed 8/1/16, http://www.kycancerc.org/aboutus/Lung%20Cancer%20Social%20Stigma%20Survey%20Results%20Fact%20Sheet%20AOSW5%2010.pdf
 Weiss, J., Stephenson, BJ., Edwards, LJ., Rigney, M., and Copeland, A. (2014). Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare; 7: 293–300. DOI: 10.2147/JMDH.S65153.
 Lung Cancer Alliance, http://www.lungcanceralliance.org/2015%20General%20Lung%20Cancer%20Fact%20Sheet%20%20.pdf, Accessed 8/2/16
 Lung cancer and social stigma: Survey results, Lung Cancer Alliance & Astrazeneca. http://www.kycancerc.org/aboutus/Lung%20Cancer%20Social%20Stigma%20Survey%20Results%20Fact%20Sheet%20AOSW5%2010.pdf, Accessed 8/1/16
 MacDonald, LD and Anderson, HR (1984). Stigma in patients with rectal cancer: a community study. Journal of Epidemiology of Community Health; 38(4): 284–290.