Thursday, August 19, 2010
http://www.copdcanada.info/12.html All past editions of the newsletter are also available for download. Go to> http://www.copdcanada.info/9.html Enjoy!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Thursday, November 29, 2007
It is estimated that upwards of 750,000 Canadians are suffering with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The nation as a whole also suffers, with the economic burden of related health care costs, lost years of work and premature deaths. This is not only a large and growing medical problem but it is also a social problem. There is very little public awareness of the disease or any significant high-profile political action to combat this public health disaster.
Do people not seem to care about COPD because of the belief that current therapies have not been able to stop the progression of the disease and that the lungs have been seen as basically unrepairable? Perhaps this national passivity is an off-shoot of smoker’s guilt or disdain of smokers. The reality is that COPD can affect never-smokers.
Second-hand smoke is a form of passive smoking and is known to cause the disease. As well, COPD can be caused by factors other than cigarette smoke – through airborne particulates in the work place and general environment. In the face of such public ignorance and apathy we need to radically change the status quo if we are to improve COPD awareness, prevention and treatment in this country.
Recent medical research indicates, that in animals at least, actual lung regeneration can be induced. Stem cell research also offers hope for lung regeneration and is an area that is virtually unexplored. If significant, life extending medical breakthroughs can be made for AIDs, cancer and other diseases, why not COPD? If patients, their families and friends become highly proactive in the fight to cure COPD it is likely that that action alone will increase awareness, which will result in more funds for research and treatment.
For the most part, progress and success in medical research is directly related to the amount of research being done on a given disease. The amount of research is directly proportional to the amount of money and attention the government and private citizens put toward the effort. When compared to other major diseases COPD is nowhere to be found. What’s the difference here? The answer must be "political and social activism".
The Canadian public is silent when it comes to lobbying for funds for COPD. Has there ever been a demonstration to increase funding to cure the disease? Almost no private money is raised for COPD research in this country and no organization effectively lobbies the government for increased funding for COPD treatments or cures. One could argue that this perceived lack of effort is because the outlook for progress in COPD is abysmal. But this is no longer the case. Based on promising advances in technology there is no excuse, from a scientific standpoint, that more effort is not being made in COPD research.
Guilt over cigarette smoking and the feelings of remorse over the self-induced cause of the disease must end. This "guilt" has not prevented the AIDS community for fighting for funds and government action, and it should not prevent the COPD community for asking for more. Most of today’s COPD patients grew up in the middle of the radical ‘60s. Maybe some of that bra burning activism needs to be re-discovered if we are ever going to move COPD toward the top of the Canadian health agenda.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Living with COPD - Spring/Summer 2007
The latest edition of Living with COPD is hot off the press and is available now. Please join the association to begin receiving your own copy of the printed newletter - Go to copdcanada.info - Membership. Joining is free-of-charge as are all of the services we provide. The newsletter will be posted on the web site within the next few weeks if you decide not to join. Good health to all!