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The unfair stereotype about lung cancer and smoking

Bruce Schillin, 32, exhales vapor from an e-cigarette

Bruce Schillin, 32, exhales vapor from an e-cigarette in Sacramento, Calif., July 16, 2015. Credit: AP

When I tell people that my father, Rocco, died from lung cancer, their first question is, “Did he smoke?”

If I say yes, does that make him any less of a strong, funny and determined human? Does it devalue his life? It definitely doesn’t make losing him any easier.

People aren’t as compassionate about lung cancer as they are about other cancers. There is a stereotype that people with lung cancer bring it on themselves — and that’s just wrong. The reality is that lung cancer affects 1 in 14 men and 1 in 17 women. More needs to be done about it.

Ana Vizzo, East Flatbush

Create tougher criminal penalties

People convicted of crime should be required to compensate their victims and pay for the costs of their trials and apprehension. Those unwilling to pay a court-ordered judgment would be placed in a work prison. In addition to compensating their victims, inmates should be required to pay the expensive costs of imprisonment.

Linda Pope, Medford

X-ray decisions require specific expertise

I would like to share some public health information in an area that needs attention. Recently, I took my daughter to a large orthopedic clinic. The medical assistant, after asking a few questions, recommended X-rays. I pointed out that only a physician, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner is qualified to make that decision.

The New York State Department of Health Sanitary Code specifies this.

Robert W. Geiser Jr., Miller Place

Editor’s note: The writer is a past president of the Nassau-Suffolk Society of Radiologic Technologists, a nonprofit advocacy organization.


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