Lung Cancer, Number One Cancer Killer

by Jessica Cervantez

In a hoarse voice, Peter Jennings told viewers he stopped smoking twenty years ago, but started again after 9-11. Now, the 66-year-old anchor will begin chemotherapy for lung cancer on Monday.

East Texas doctors believe his battle will bring a lot of attention to the disease.

Dr. Sid Roberts, a radiation oncologist, said, "What the peter Jennings announcement has done is make people realize it doesn't matter whether you're one of the most famous people in the world or not, lung cancer can strike anyone at anytime."

CB Francis smoked for 40 years, but stopped lighting up 12 years ago. He just found out two months ago he has lung cancer.

Francis said, "It isn't good, I'm 73, I've had a good life. The first thing we did was pray, then we took our doctor's advice, I feel better than I was the day I found out."

Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of men and women in the world.

Dr. Roberts said, "There are about 180,000 cases a year in the United States and most of the time you don't know it's there, and it's already more advanced because there's not any symptoms of early lung cancer detection."

Doctors say lung cancer is difficult to detect early but not difficult to prevent.

Roberts said, "The lesson is don't smoke, don't ever start, and if you are, quit."

Francis will soon undergo his last treatment. He says for now, his main goal is to live his life to the fullest.

The most curable form of lung cancer is stage one and it can be treated with surgery. Peter Jennings is starting his treatment with chemotherapy. That means his cancer could be at a more advanced stage.