Lung Cancer Taking Lives

by Jessica Cervantez

ABC News Anchor Peter Jennings is dead. He lost his battle with lung cancer Sunday night at the age of 67.

It is a battle that hits to close to home for many East Texans.

It was early April when Peter Jennings told his viewers he suffered from lung cancer. Sunday, that disease took his life.

Dr. Sid Roberts, a radiation oncologist, said, "I was surprised. It wasn't that long ago since he announced he had lung cancer."

Many southern states have the highest death rates from lung cancer, including East Texas.

Dr. Roberts said, "There are just a lot of smokers here in Texas."

Dr. Roberts says lung cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, because there are often no warning signs. But, he knows 98% of those affected with lung cancer are smokers. That means, by not smoking, you can dramatically cut your risk of getting the disease.

Dr. Roberts says they are noticing a slight decline in the number of teenage smokers. He credits that to more tobacco education.