Deborah remembers the first time she picked up a cigarette.
She said she hopes to better inform the public of the “myth” that it takes 20 years to develop lung cancer from smoking.
“The first time I tried smoking my boyfriend introduced me to it,” said Deborah, who lives in McKinney, TX. “When he first offered me a cigarette, I initially refused. He said how good they tasted (they were cherry flavored), coaxed me, and managed to spark my curiosity so I took a puff of his. Of course when I tried inhaling I choked. If people were meant to smoke we would have been born with smokestacks on the tops of their heads.”
A few years later Deborah remembers being offered an entire cigarette and smoke it without even inhaling but it got into her lungs. She said she thought she’d start trying it and got hooked.
One year later she started coughing up blood.
Her doctor told her “You can either quit or die.” So Deborah managed to quit.
“Seven years later a golf ball sized tumor was discovered in the main airway of my right lung even after quitting,” said Deborah. “I was coughing up blood more than ever and found out it was ‘a bleeding tumor’ as the surgeon told me.”
It turned out to be a cancerous tumor. After a ten-inch incision on the operating table, a partial lobectomy (lung removal), and the reality of two drainage tubes coming out of her lung Deborah said she needed to share her story to help educate others.
“Smoking is dangerous, poisonous, and potentially deadly,” she said. “My abnormal bleeding started only one year after consuming tobacco which breaks the myth that ‘It takes 20 years to develop lung cancer from smoking.'”
Deborah said the truly believes the tumor would not have formed if she had abstained from tobacco use.
“I am lucky it didn’t spread to my lymph nodes,” she said. “It will cause health problems eventually to those who partake so it just isn’t worth it. I urge our youth especially to not even try it because it is so addictive.”
Singer Lou Rawls recently died of lung cancer.So did my grandpa when I was seven.
According to the Surgeon General, smoking causes damage to nearly every major organ in the body. After quitting smoking the risk of contracting lung cancer increases.
According to statistics lung cancer kills more women than any other form of cancer.
Women are approximately 1.5 times more likely to develop lung cancer than men. In 1950 lung cancer contributed to only three percent of cancer deaths among women compared to 25 percent in 2000.