to feel really upset about Caroline ahern and lung cancer

(183 Posts)
sarahhammer Tue 13-May-14 11:10:59

I'm horrified to hear people on the radio showing no sympathy for her, just because she smokes it does not make lung cancer self inflicted!

AgaPanthers Tue 13-May-14 11:12:35

uh, yes it does, that's exactly what it means.

ChaffinchOfDoom Tue 13-May-14 11:15:45

hers is genetically linked - she's already had retinal and bladder cancer

FabULouse Tue 13-May-14 11:17:07

Was the bladder cancer caused by a faulty gene? It's very common in smokers.

StanleyLambchop Tue 13-May-14 11:17:50

I think that is a bit harsh. It is still a horrible disease, no matter how you get it. She might have got it even if she had not smoked- like Roy Castle. YANBU

squoosh Tue 13-May-14 11:17:58

Sad to hear this, I absolutely love Caroline Aherne. I'm sickened by people whose first thought when hearing about a diagnosis like this is to wag their finger and sniff 'well it's their own fault'.

Fuck them.

It's a very sad situation, self inflicted or not.

My mum died of lung cancer, she was a non smoker, never so much as had a puff of a cigarette. Lung cancer is very common amongst women, it is not just smokers disease.

AgaPanthers Tue 13-May-14 11:21:16

90% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking.

twofingerstoGideon Tue 13-May-14 11:21:36

What squoosh said.

FabULouse Tue 13-May-14 11:23:34

It's realistic to feel hugely sympathetic AND recognise the well known causal link between smoking and cancer.

Gen35 Tue 13-May-14 11:24:27

Yanbu, people should be sympathetic to Caroline Aherne as she's also had these other cancers, in general, I hate the lack of sympathy shown to people with addictions like smoking/drinking etc. there is a person involved who's made some bad choices and is paying the price, we all make bad choices, some cause cancer and some have more indirect effects. Can't stand sanctimony. Yes, it's awful when people have terrible bad luck and have lived perfect lives, doesn't mean people who've made bad choices deserve no support or sympathy.

shakinstevenslovechild Tue 13-May-14 11:25:08

The 'it's their own fault' lot always look for reasons when something like illness or accidents or crime happens. If they find a way to blame the person who is suffering then it means it can never happen to them because they never do <whatever>, the truth is it could happen to anyone sad

prisonerofallisurvey Tue 13-May-14 11:28:59

Stanley - I thought Roy Castle's lung cancer was attributed to him working in smokey environments for a large part of his career? So still a factor.

vladthedisorganised Tue 13-May-14 11:30:59

And what Betty said. (flowers Betty - I lost my mum the same way)

As one article eloquently stated, "we don't assume that colon cancer sufferers regularly participated in anal sex, we acknowledge it as a horrible disease'. hmm

MerryMarigold Tue 13-May-14 11:31:10

It's realistic to feel hugely sympathetic AND recognise the well known causal link between smoking and cancer.

I actually think they need to be completely separated in the reaction. When someone gets cancer it's awful, self inflicted or not (and I imagine it is a bit hard to know exactly). If someone has a motorbike crash it is dreadful, even if it was their choice to ride a motorbike. When my dd falls over because she was running, it is no time to say, well you shouldn't have been running whilst her leg is all cut up.

Yes, we need to educate people on the consequences of their choices. And, at another time, I will talk to dd about running and that it can lead to her getting hurt. But I will not withhold sympathy if something awful happens.

LayMeDown Tue 13-May-14 11:32:02

if she has bladder cancer in the past, is this not likey to be a secondary cancer? Therefore it spread from the original source and developed in her lungs rather than being primary source lung cancer. If it is secondary to the original bladder cancer then it is not caused by smoking and it is just a concidence that it returned in her lungs. It si just as likely to return in the lungs of non cmokers once the cells are in your body.

AgaPanthers Tue 13-May-14 11:33:59

"As one article eloquently stated, "we don't assume that colon cancer sufferers regularly participated in anal sex, we acknowledge it as a horrible disease'. "

But anal sex isn't a risk factor for colon cancer

OTOH 90% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking.

If someone has lung cancer it is almost certainly a result of smoking.

struggling100 Tue 13-May-14 11:34:27

Jesus, some of you people need to take a good long hard look at yourselves while you google the definition of 'compassion'. Sometimes this site makes me feel SO upset.

If you'd actually bothered to do some basic research, you'd find that it is possible to get lung cancer without smoking. My grandfather died of it. He never smoked. It happens. Exposure to other carcinogens and genetic factors play a role.

Now, even with smokers like Caroline Aherne, to get lung cancer from smoking at 50 is fairly young - mutations from exposure to carcinogens tend to take some time to turn into full-blown cancer, because several genes have to 'go wrong'. There is likely to be a genetic factor at work at 50. Or maybe it's a secondary tumour. Who knows, because we don't have access to her records and to the facts.

What we do know is that lung cancer is one of the deadliest cancers. That poor woman. Have a heart, people.

If someone has lung cancer it is almost certainly a result of smoking

So does that make it less sad then?

My mum was the 1 on 10 who was not a's a horrid illness and I feel for anyone who is unfortunate enough to have it.

Seeing my mum die of it, personally I fail to understand why anyone in this day and age would smoke and increase their chances of getting this dreadful illness but I don't feel any less sympathy for someone who smokes than a non smoker. If I am totally honest I do feel cheated that my non smoking mum got lung cancer but I think that's natural.

Like another poster pointed out - lots of actions can have bad consequences but we can still feel compassion and sympathy whatever the circumstances surely.

squoosh Tue 13-May-14 11:38:37

Cancer seems to have blighted her family's life, both she and her brother were both born with cancer of the retina, in fact she chose never to have children to avoid passing the disease on to them.

Also, she's a comic genius! I wish her well in her fight.

Babyroobs Tue 13-May-14 11:39:19

Even if it was a secondary from Bladder cancer, there is still a very strong link between smoking and developing bladder cancer. Smoking is a risk factor for many cancers not just lung cancer, but lung and cancers of the head and neck are the most common. It is very sad and I hope she manages to beat it, treatment is fortunately getting better all the time.

MerryMarigold Tue 13-May-14 11:39:34

Yes, my friend also died of lung cancer when she'd never touched a cigarette. In fact, she was so healthy, she wouldn't even use a microwave. It is not our position to judge.

AgaPanthers Tue 13-May-14 11:39:45

I don't see where people have a lack of compassion, I was just pointing out from the OP that lung cancer usually is, in fact, self inflicted. That doesn't make it any less sad, it's just reality, and it is helpful for people who haven't developed lung cancer to acknowledge it.

ChaffinchOfDoom Tue 13-May-14 11:40:03

Mrs Merton was so funny smile
I'd have liked her to be in Gavin & Stacey somewhere too.

she is a comedy genius and I wish her well.

LayMeDown Tue 13-May-14 11:40:04

OH and YANBU OP. Very sad. She is one of the best comic writers around and a great inspiration to other women in the comedy world.

JohnFarleysRuskin Tue 13-May-14 11:40:19

That's terrible news. I love Caroline Ahern, a really brilliant comedian/writer/actor. I hope she gets well soon.

Davsmum Tue 13-May-14 11:40:41

Well,.. I have sympathy for her. Having cancer is not nice whether other people think you 'deserve' it or not

Smoking certainly can help contribute to developing cancer but I think the 'having no sympathy' attitude is awful.

frignorant Tue 13-May-14 11:40:45

My fil died of lung cancer. Whenever we had to tell anyone, the first question was always "was he a smoker". Did it matter? (By the way, he wasn't. It was caused by eorking with asbestos).

turgiday Tue 13-May-14 11:40:58

I dont care if she partly caused it by smoking. Show some bloody compassion for the woman. She has cancer that will kill her.

frignorant Tue 13-May-14 11:41:25

My fil died of lung cancer. Whenever we had to tell anyone, the first question was always "was he a smoker". Did it matter? (By the way, he wasn't. It was caused by eorking with asbestos).

cathyandclaire Tue 13-May-14 11:41:50

I think some people who develop Retinoblastoma (eye cancer) as children lack a gene that suppresses tumours elsewhere in the body so are at a much greater risk of bone, bladder, skin, uterine, breast and lung cancers and lymphoma. Smoking would increase that risk but is definitely not the only factor, she has been hugely unlucky and my heart goes out to her and her family.
Hopefully as she will be aware of this they will have picked it up early.

Goldmandra Tue 13-May-14 11:42:16

Read the BBC News Website.

She has had previous cancers genetically linked to this one. She was predisposed to developing this.

There is no guarantee that smoking caused any one person's cancer. It's just odds.

Caroline Aherne was dealt a crap hand genetically. She doesn't need people making smug comments about her lifestyle to add to it.

Babyroobs Tue 13-May-14 11:43:18

And just to add, anal sex is a risk factor for cancer of the anus and rectum, I believe that is because of exposure to the papillomovirus that also causes cervical cancer. Oral sex is now also considered a risk factor for developing cancer of the mouth and throat ( also due to the same virus I think ).

everlong Tue 13-May-14 11:44:09

It's sad of course it is. I'm sure she knew the risk of getting lung cancer by smoking. Doesn't take away the fact that it's terrible.

My sister smokes. She's had breast cancer. She knows the risks but she won't stop.

HellonHeels Tue 13-May-14 11:44:44

Shocked at the judgmental comments from some on this thread.

Here is an article from the BBC news site which indicates that she no longer smokes and that her brother has stated that the three cancers she has been treated for are genetically linked. Not that that alters the compassion I feel for anyone living with cancer, regardless of cause.

FragglerockAmpersand Tue 13-May-14 11:45:41

I know one person who died at 24 of Lung cancer. He was a devout Christian and had never been in a pub, never mind smoked.

I know one person who died in his early 50s of mouth and throat cancer. He'd never smoked.

This is only 2 people, I know. But you're on a VERY sticky wicket if, equipped with no information at all, you think you can blame someone's cancer on their lifestyle.

You're also a bit of an arse.

BalloonSlayer Tue 13-May-14 11:45:51

What a shame. sad

I think she is great.

ModernToss Tue 13-May-14 11:47:46

Total sympathy from me. She's been dealt a very poor hand, and she is indeed a comic genius.

nethunsreject Tue 13-May-14 11:48:20

Bloody hell, the lack of compassion/blaming that some people are doing is appalling.

It can happen to anyone; pretty much anything bad could happen to any of us. I would hope that I'd receive compassion if it were me, regardless of my lifestyle. Ffs.

Joe Bloggs down my road died of a massive heart attack - he as a fat git though so serves him right.

Jane Doe round the corner has just had a massive stroke - to be fair it's her fault as she had high blood pressure, her diet was shit and she didn't exercise - tough luck really.

Fred Smith got run over crossing the road - he didn't look properly so tough titties to him

I could go on and on and yes, I would sound like a massive arse.

This thread makes me sad to think some people lack such compassion for other human beings.

Babyroobs Tue 13-May-14 11:51:30

I have worked in Oncology/ Palliative care for years now and can honestly say the vast majority of patients with primary lung cancer are smokers or have been heavy smokers in the past for long periods of time. Of course there will always be a few who have never smoked, but the vast majority have, it is usually documented in their notes. Whatever the cause, we should always show compassion and care. people never think it will happen to them despite all the knowledge they have about the risks. Being obese is also a risk factor for many cancers.

DrankSangriaInThePark Tue 13-May-14 11:53:05

The only 2 people I know who died of lung cancer were non-smokers.

Data-anecdote blah blah.

Very sad, I didn't know, I wish her well.

flowers to those who have lost loved ones to this awful bloody disease.

IdkickJilliansAss Tue 13-May-14 11:53:18

I used to smoke, took it up very young (11) got addicted but finally managed to kick it when I wanted DC at 24. If I develop lung cancer in the future I don't care about some people's cruel opinions but if I heard someone saying it in earshot of my DC I would probably use my last strength to give them a right royal slapping

TheCunkOfPhilomena Tue 13-May-14 11:53:19

AgaPanthers ODFOD

IdkickJilliansAss Tue 13-May-14 11:55:15

I think it'd be more a false sense of security rather than helpful Aga

ExcuseTypos Tue 13-May-14 11:56:40

I love hersad

Anyone who's first thought is "it's her own fault" needs to have a word with themselves about being a judgemental twat.

Nancy66 Tue 13-May-14 11:56:40

I love CA. Such a fantastic writing talent. 'So what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?' still prob one of the funniest questions ever asked on telly.

Viviennemary Tue 13-May-14 11:58:21

You can still feel sorry for somebody with a horrible illness even when they have smoked or done something else adverse to their health.

Owllady Tue 13-May-14 11:58:52

It's really black and white too to think oh well they smoked/drank/took drugs/ate compulsively without realising for most people (all?) Addiction is a complex illness and there is hardly any support and what support there is is often difficult for an addict to access because of the stigma, as demonstrated with a lot of the opinion on this thread.

Poor Caroline sad I wish her well

dexter73 Tue 13-May-14 12:00:53

What a shame. I think she is a great woman.

'So what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?' still prob one of the funniest questions ever asked on telly.

Absolutely agree!

movingsoon23 Tue 13-May-14 12:00:59

Pointing out that smoking is a risk factor for lung cancer is in no way saying that you don't have any sympathy or that someone deserves cancer. In fact it makes it all the more tragic - that they could have done something to save themselves but for whatever reason felt unable to.

Smokers are very good at justifying their habit. Brushing the fact that smoking kills people under the carpet is not helpful at all. Smokers need warned of the risks and supported to help themselves quit if that is what they want. This isn't the same as judging or blaming someone.

squoosh Tue 13-May-14 12:01:45

The episode of the Royle Family where Nana dies is the one thing guaranteed to make me howl with laughter and blub like a baby.

Nancy66 Tue 13-May-14 12:04:00

Squoosh - I agree. when Barbara is doing nana's hair, such a brilliant mixture of pathos on comedy. From that great line about soup of the day to nana saying she never wanted to go into a home. sublime.

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Tue 13-May-14 12:05:18

Of course lung cancer is self inflicted if you smoke. What an odd thing to say OP.
Still sad though, but no sader than anyone else with a terminal illness.

Bahhhhhumbug Tue 13-May-14 12:08:15

My older brother died of lung cancer at aged 59, a lifelong smoker of around ten to twenty a day. He always said himself it was his own fault for smoking , bless him , he never felt sorry for himself or asked why me. But he grew up in an era when it was almost a rite of passage for a young man to start smoking and they didn't know/advertise as much then about the dangers.
One thing I do know is he didn't deserve to die that way , he was a lovely gentle person and having been with him to the end I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.
What's the prognosis for Caroline , is it advanced ? My brother was diagnosed quite late on and was misdiagnosed as having COPD initially and sent home with an inhaler and quit smoking pack.

Poor girl, hope she pulls through.

everlong Tue 13-May-14 12:08:30

The Royal Family was brilliant.

I drive past a pub called the peartree when going to a friends. Always think of them.

Dairylea on toast. Might have to watch it again. Used to know it all off by heart.

Nancy66 Tue 13-May-14 12:10:02

there's a woman I used to work with who had huge tits and was a bit brassy and who we nicknamed 'Beverly Macca'

everlong Tue 13-May-14 12:11:52

We had a decorator once called Dave Luck from Manchester way. We still refer to him as Dave Best.

Owllady Tue 13-May-14 12:13:33

Nancy grin
Every time I see a Dyson I think of Mary in the Hoover
And baby David

ShadyLadyT Tue 13-May-14 12:13:58

Whether or not one will contract cancer of any sort is much more complicated than a simple causal relationship.

And believe me, I know more about lung cancer than I want to. My DH died of it (a fit, young, healthy never-smoker) as did my father (a smoker). It's not straightforward to say my Dad's smoking caused his lung cancer. As it happens, he had beaten skin cancer, and then 20 years later, lymphoma, and developed the primary lung cancer ten years after that. As for my beloved DH, the theory was that as his mother had died of breast cancer at a relatively young age, there was a faulty gene - did you know there is a link between breast cancer and lung cancer? Also, lung cancer rates are SO high that the ten per cent like my DH who have ever touched a fag amounts to a LOT of people in the UK; yet lung cancer research is chronically underfunded and miles behind other cancers because there is such a stigma to it - people just shrug and say 'it's your own fault'. Much like some of the charmers on this thread, in fact.

squoosh Tue 13-May-14 12:14:03

I'm welling up a little just thinking of Barbara doing Nana's hair for her. And the scene where Dave is reading Mills & Boons out to her is hilarious.

MrsMaturin Tue 13-May-14 12:14:48

My bil died from lung cancer. The cause was probably smoking.

When he was going for treatment he scrubbed and scrubbed at his fingers to get the nicotine stains off because he didn't want the nurses to judge him. How heartbreaking is that? That's the effect of what some of you are saying. Your smug judgement makes the people suffering this illness feel guilty and ashamed. Guilty and ashamed whilst they ARE DYING.

Lung cancer is an awful disease. If you're more bothered about what caused it than the effects it has on the patient and their loved ones then I have no (printable) words for what I think of you.

thegreylady Tue 13-May-14 12:17:39

Lung cancer is often a secondary and when it is it is completely unrelated to smoking. it is very common place for breast or bowel cancer to metastasize.

MaidOfStars Tue 13-May-14 12:18:59

She (and her brother, I think) had retinoblastoma as children. This will mean she carries a mutation in a gene called RB1. This gene makes a protein that is involved in stopping cell division and growth. Therefore, if you lose this gene, cells will divide and grow unchecked i.e. cancer.

Everyone has two copies of RB1. Even one working copy is enough to keep cell division under control; therefore, to get cancer, you need to acquire mutations in BOTH copies of RB1 in a single cell. This is biologically and mathematically unlikely. We may all pick up the odd mutation in one copy, but this is unproblematic. Caroline Aherne (or anyone with familial/hereditary retinoblastoma) already has one mutation in one copy of RB1 in every cell of her body - she only needs one mutation event to get cancer.

I won't be drawn into speculating about why someone with a clear and well-studied genetic predisposition to cancer might choose to hurry the necessary second mutation along by smoking. That doesn't detract from the sadness of this news. I hope she recovers.

It's really sad news. I doubt there is one person on here so blameless that they are really in a position to pass judgement.

Monroe Tue 13-May-14 12:24:32

I think it's terrible news and feel so sorry for her and her family. I live in the area she is from and met my now dh in the pear tree (it now has a different name but is the same pub)

I saw her in our local shop a year or so back and she was laughing and joking at the checkout, her voice was unmistakable. Her brother is very close friends with my
Cousin and is lovely. So sad, she truly is a comedy genius sad

deakymom Tue 13-May-14 12:25:47

or passive smoking is a factor i was in a very smoky atmosphere most of my life when i came out of it i began smoking because i was already addicted to it took me years to quit

dexter73 Tue 13-May-14 12:27:19

thegreylady - that is true. My dad had bowel cancer which metastasized but he actually died due to an infection in the tumours in his lungs. Horrible way to die.

StickEm Tue 13-May-14 12:29:36

My mum will die of a smoking related disease so i have sympathy.

StickEm Tue 13-May-14 12:31:08

Are people who die behind the wheel to blame for partaking in a risky form of travel?

FoxSticks Tue 13-May-14 12:48:24

My mum died of lung cancer,it's a horrible way to die. Like a previous poster, the first question I was always asked was does/did she smoke? When I said yes there was pretty much always a change in facial expression,a notable reduction in sympathy because in their eyes,she bought it on herself. It's really crap to be made to feel ashamed when you are already dieing. It's horrible to watch someone openly judging your loved one,and downgrading their levels of empathy.

Perhaps some of you who are being realistic and not sweeping things under the carpet could remember that when next faced with someone in this situation.

OwlCapone Tue 13-May-14 12:57:35

As someone else pointed out she no longer smokes and that her brother has stated that the three cancers she has been treated for are genetically linked

Which means a lot of what is being spouted here is irrelevant.

AvonCallingBarksdale Tue 13-May-14 12:59:23

FiL died from liver cancer and we've been asked before if he was a big drinker (no he wasn't and, anyway, it actually wouldn't alter how fucking sad it was even if he had been shock) I love Caroline Aherne - currently enjoying her voiceover in Gogglebox. Wish her well.

squoosh Tue 13-May-14 13:12:38

It's weird the way people try and weigh it up in their mind, tragic illness v self inflicted illness.

AvonCallingBarksdale Tue 13-May-14 13:35:10

I think it's because people feel "safe" if they judge someone else as having brought it on themselves IYSWIM. So, "X got lung cancer and they were a smoker. I'm not a smoker, ergo I won't get lung cancer, so I am better and protecting myself more". Weird and horribly lacking in compassion IMO

Nancy66 Tue 13-May-14 13:39:22

lots of people make bad calls in their life - smoking is one of them undoubtedly but it doesn't make them a lesser person.

I have a close friend who has beaten cancer twice yet still she smokes. baffling to most of us but, ultimately, her decision. she likes fags, says she's miserable when she's off them and would rather die at 55 on the fags than 85 off them.

Those who can show no sympathy for someone in such an appalling situation are not people, they are animals, to lack empathy to that extent differentiates them from the rest of us.

Waltonswatcher1 Tue 13-May-14 13:43:51

Nasty thread . To discuss such personal terms when they are ill . What business is it of anyone's ?
I don't get people's fascination with total strangers .

EverythingCounts Tue 13-May-14 13:52:05

Walton not sure why you are posting on a thread about a total stranger, then. In fact most of MN is about total strangers. Do you only talk to people on here that you already know IRL?

SpottieDottie Tue 13-May-14 13:55:38

It baffles me why people still smoke when they know the risks, somebody I know lost her husband to lung cancer yet she still smokes.

JohnFarleysRuskin Tue 13-May-14 13:55:56

I agree Avon.

TheBogQueen Tue 13-May-14 13:56:09

You have to be a real cunt not to have sympathy for someone suffering lung cancer.


IShallCallYouSquishy Tue 13-May-14 13:56:40

As someone with a loved one dying of lung cancer I find the attitudes disgusting. So because she smokes she deserves cancer? My Aunt also smokes but dear god she doesn't deserve cancer. Non smokers can get lung cancer too hmm

everlong Tue 13-May-14 13:59:37

Spottie my sister smokes even though she had breast cancer. It's her choice I guess. She won't give up for anything.

It's frustrating. I don't want her to get lung cancer. But what can I do?
Nothing. Just hope it doesn't happen.

Sparklingbrook Tue 13-May-14 13:59:45

I love Caroline Aherne, she is a genius. I am very sad to hear she has lung cancer.

I don't think it's on to discuss the whys and wherefores of her personal health on the internet though. sad

SpottieDottie Tue 13-May-14 14:01:01

Sorry to hear that Everlong

IdkickJilliansAss Tue 13-May-14 14:04:11

Nothing in life is that black and white and simplistic

TiredFeet Tue 13-May-14 14:07:08

How sad, and how awful that people can judge.
It is made clear in the bbc article that there is a genetic link to her cancers

Further, there is a lifestyle link to most cancers, but only smokers seem to incur this wrath. I am not a smoker, but I can see that amongst those I know that smoke there are complex factors affecting their ability to stop.

I have a friend who drinks to excess and I worry that the behaviour is killing him, it won't make it any less tragic when it does, in fact in some ways it makes it more so, that he is so unhappy in life he can't even stop a behaviour he knows is so destructive

She's written some wonderfully funny comedy and I wish her all the best

higgle Tue 13-May-14 14:11:30

This is very sad. There are loads of pictures of her smoking all over the press today.

My father died of lung cancer aged 63, I still have not forgiven him for putting my mother through all the pain and misery of his illness and having to cope without him when he caused all that by his obstinate attitude to smoking.

limitedperiodonly Tue 13-May-14 14:14:39

FiL died from liver cancer and we've been asked before if he was a big drinker

What do you say to them avon? shock

expatinscotland Tue 13-May-14 14:17:44

What Avon said. You see it a lot on here and in real life, I don't do X,Y or Z. I am therefore morally superior to those who do, all of whom will probably die earlier than I of horrid disease.

Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

Gen35 Tue 13-May-14 14:21:58

Doesn't press coverage like that just make you despair of the media believing that they constantly need to pander to the lowest common denominator? Depressing.

MmeMorrible Tue 13-May-14 14:25:28

The woman has been diagnosed with a life threatening, frightening disease. However she did or didn't contract the disease, the impact on her life and on her family and friends will be devastating.

The reaction from some posters reminds me of the advent of AIDS and the initial judgemental views that it was a self-inflicted illness and therefore the sufferers were not worthy of the same level of support and basic human kindness as those dealing with other terminal (as it was then) conditions.

I don't smoke and I don't like smoking but do have empathy for a fellow human being going through a terrible ordeal.

everlong Tue 13-May-14 14:26:28

It's crazy to think that you won't get cancer because you don't do x, y or z. Doesn't work like that. Cancer is a fucker.

SpottieDottie Tue 13-May-14 14:29:09

Unfortunately people are very judgmental, rightly or wrongly. Whether it is cancer, mental health issues, parenting or whatever else there is always somebody who will judge you. Sometimes it is understandable, though regrettable. We've all done it, unfortunately.

Totally agree with Marigold

AvonCallingBarksdale Tue 13-May-14 14:29:47

What do you say to them avon?

Usually I drone on and on about how, no he wasn't, he had other health complications as well, he was lovely, and we would have been equally upset if he been a heavy drinker. I've got a good line in boring people into submission, I find smile

morethanpotatoprints Tue 13-May-14 14:32:00

Ah, poor love.
can anybody remember "Scorchio" her weather forecast?
My friend met her a few times at the BBC when she was a nobody grin
I'm sure she worked in wages or some such dept.
I heard she was an alcoholic and at one time it was touch and go.
A true comic genius as a writer, producer/director and of course actress.
Of course, she is a Manc.

StampyIsMyBoyfriend Tue 13-May-14 14:32:48

My grandad died from liver cancer, never drank in his life.

My first thought on Caroline ahern this morning was "poor woman" and nothing else.

helensburgh Tue 13-May-14 14:35:06

she has secondary cancer in her lungs.

I hope none of you people who asaying she brought it on herslef, ever have to go through something like she is.

shame on you.

limitedperiodonly Tue 13-May-14 14:36:58

I've got a good line in boring people into submission, I find

avon you probably have to work at it because that made me laugh.
Good name btw

angelos02 Tue 13-May-14 14:37:46

It drives me mad that people think that just because they don't smoke, drink much or eat rubbish food that they are somehow immune to getting ill.

Waltonswatcher1 Tue 13-May-14 14:39:28

Caroline ahern hasn't chosen to discuss this on here has she ?
I did and you did- there's the link . Total strangers who have opted to air opinions .
I find it distasteful - faulty family gene ; previous cancer; secondary cancer; smoker; gave up smoking .
Like I said , distasteful in my opinion.

everlong Tue 13-May-14 14:41:47

Sorry Walton I'm not sure what you mean.

Sparklingbrook Tue 13-May-14 14:43:27

What is distasteful Waltons?

SpottieDottie Tue 13-May-14 14:44:24

It baffles me why people still smoke when they know the risks, somebody I know lost her husband to lung cancer yet she still smokes.

I don't think that's criticising CA, it's an observation, nothing more. Yes, it's a shame she has cancer, it always is with anybody who has cancer.

smallblueduck Tue 13-May-14 14:50:35

cathyandclaire is right. She had (genetic) retinoblastoma as a young child. Her risk of developing secondary cancers is higher than that of an average person.

The blame game on this thread is disgusting.

Wishing her a good recovery.

everlong Tue 13-May-14 14:54:09

I'm guessing you've confused me with EveryThingCounts, Waltons?

So if someone is hit by a car whilst crossing the road is it their fault for taking that risk?

Swannery Tue 13-May-14 15:08:02

Loads of non smokers get lung cancer, and it's increasing rapidly among non-smokers. There are lots of environmental factors - eg exposure to glass fibre insulation, living in a radon gas area, being exposed to someone else smoking, pollution from cars etc. Also genetic factors.
Do you deserve to die of cancer because you eat burned toast or live in Cornwall (radon gas area)?

everlong Tue 13-May-14 15:15:25

It doesn't matter the reason why she has it imo.

Surely you don't judge someone with cancer. Condemn them?

OxfordBags Tue 13-May-14 15:27:05

My grandad died of lund cancer caused by being a lifelone smoker. It didn't make his death any less tragic than someone who died of lung cancer unrelated to smoking, or indeed, the death of anyone else. Try seeing someone attempt to breathe when they only have half a lung left for their whole body and then fucking come back and judge them.

And I hate smoking and am v anti-smoking. I don't think smokers 'bring it on themselves' because I am capable of empathy.

OxfordBags Tue 13-May-14 15:27:34

Lung, not lund cancer. He didn't have cancer of the Scandinavian detective.

ViviPru Tue 13-May-14 15:31:36

She's gifted. It's very tragic sad

SpottieDottie Tue 13-May-14 15:51:27

It'd be tragic even if she wasn't gifted.

FabULouse Tue 13-May-14 16:41:39

What blame game? confused

The wake-like reminiscing is far more grotesque IMO.

ViviPru Tue 13-May-14 16:46:14

Bloody hell can't say anything can you. Of course I meant it's only tragic because she'd gifted hmm


I wish her the very best of luck. Survival rates for lung cancer are improving, not fast as we'd like, but they are, and presumably with her genetic history they'll have been alert enough to catch it quickly.

I think deaths from smoking are always tragic because it looks (from the outside) so bloody pointless. With mountaineers or a parachutist or motorcyclists or people who walk along pavements rather than drive at least there's something you can point to to say yes, they knew the risks, but they made that dangerous choice for a reason. But when tobacco kills someone the only person who's gained anything is the cigarette manufacturers and the taxman. And as MaidofStars pointed out, yes smoking remains very relevant if you have a genetic predisposition to cancer - more so in fact.

Sparklingbrook Tue 13-May-14 17:09:43

Where's the OP gone?

Wickeddevil Tue 13-May-14 17:30:26

I have lost 2 close relatives recently to Lung Cancer. One was a heavy smoker, the other never smoked.
Both deaths were very, very sad and untimely. It is a shitty disease.
I wish CA well.

whatever5 Tue 13-May-14 17:40:52

I think that whether or not it is self inflicted is completely and utterly irrelevant. I hope she survives.

Joules68 Tue 13-May-14 18:28:27

I assume she is no longer a smoker now

Verynovicegardener Tue 13-May-14 18:42:30

This thread is really upsetting me.

My Dad died of Lung cancer aged 49. He had given up about five years previously, it took Jim years and years to quit but he managed it bless him.

The consultant told him that it could have been the first cigarette that caused it or it could have been the last.

My dad wok up in the night and drowned in his own blood as his tumour tore away from his lung. He spent the last few minutes of his life terrified.

He didn't deserve that, no one does.

People on this thread being so heartless should be fucking ashamed of themselves. Let's hope no one they love, be it a child, parent or whoever makes the mistake of taking up smoking as believ me you see things very differently once it's your loved one.

dannydevitoiloveyourwork Tue 13-May-14 18:46:05

This is really upsetting news and I find it equally upsetting that certain people feel the need to turn her illness into some lesson on the perils of smoking. I disagree that smokers need warning of the risks – they already know the risks, there’s no getting away from them, quite frankly. People continue to smoke despite all that because it’s an addiction. They know it's bad for them, they know there's a fair chance it will kill them eventually, and furthermore they know how much they are judged by society for their habit. As this thread clearly shows, the judgement doesn't stop even when the poor sods are dying.

People smoke for all sorts of reasons, same as some people drink/take drugs/eat to excess/neglect their health in other ways for all sorts of reasons. People also get ill for all sorts of reasons, some avoidable, some not. It's irrelevant. If someone is ill, they deserve sympathy. If you don't possess the basic level of humanity to offer that without judgement then you need to just keep quiet.

I can only assume that those saying she brought it on herself have somehow managed to live an entirely blameless life and have never stepped out of the house without sunscreen on, have eaten 5 pieces of fruit and veg every day of their lives, have never drunk to excess, never been overweight, never had sex without a condom...never done anything which may jeopardise their health in any way.

I wish Caroline all the best, I think she’s great.

Swannery Tue 13-May-14 18:47:27

Yes, what a lovely society we live in. I bet the posters on here who hold people personally responsible for dying of cancer and so undeserving of any empathy/sympathy are Tory voters. That's just how the current Tory mind works.
Next thing will be to deny smokers, fat people, whatever other category they can think of medical treatment at all. In fact one of them was arguing that on Mumsnet a couple of days ago.
If it happens to them they'll make use of their private medical insurance though, obv.

everlong Tue 13-May-14 18:48:56

((very novice)) I'm sorry about your dad sad

tunnocksteacake Tue 13-May-14 18:52:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

everlong Tue 13-May-14 18:54:56

Oh tunnocks I'm so sorry. flowers

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 13-May-14 19:02:26

I feel sorry for her.

There's a genetic link to pancreatic cancer on my fathers paternal side. 10 siblings, 8 dead, all primary pancreatic cancer. My paternal grandmother has had breast cancer.

Strokes all over the places on my mums paternal side and Parkinson's on her maternal side.


Even if it weren't genetics, it is sad. My dp's mum died of entirely "self inflicted" lung cancer 4 years ago. Horrible death.

Chippednailvarnish Tue 13-May-14 19:03:59

"So, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?"

Classic, absolutely classic.

I wish her well and hope that if I'm ever unfortunate enough to get cancer nobody holds all the times I've eaten crap food, drank too much, microwaved in plastic dishes, used my mobile phone, applied anti-persperant, sprinkled talcing powder and had unprotected sex, against me.

Swannery that's a bit of a sweeping statement isn't it? I totally disagree with the "serve her right" comments here, they're disgusting and I happen not to be (usually) a Tory voter. Sorry not to fit your box - it's nothing to do with politics, it's about humanity and it seems to be in short supply here.

Arrghh, completely ruined that statement - should read I am a Tory voter.

Owllady Tue 13-May-14 19:18:59

I do know what swannery means, there has been more prominence in that kind of attitude/feeling since the coalition came to power.

I see it more most probably because I am a carer of a relative who is severely disabled. Through no fault of their/our own. I am made to make at care reviews (under a cut care package under this government) like it's my own failings that I can't cope. This has only happened since call me Dave was voted in on the back of promising to support those with severely disabled disabled.

This might be off topic, but it relevant to general feeling and lack of empathy during austerity

ToffeeMoon Tue 13-May-14 19:19:09

Very funny, talented woman.

"Let's have a heated debate."

Where are all those posters saying that it serves her right and they have no sympathy? Did they all get deleted?

Maybe, but I resent the implication that because you vote Tory you are automatically heartless, insensitive and lacking empathy. Over reacting perhaps but still, I do feel a tad offended!

Sparklingbrook Tue 13-May-14 19:24:08

I always thought AIBU should have been named 'Lets have a heated debate'. grin

Don't know whether it's on order to lighten the mood of the thread but I always laugh at this...

TSSDNCOP Tue 13-May-14 19:27:56

Frosty not overreacting at all.

As a Tory voter Swannery I find your comment utterly risible and portrays you in the manner of a complete twat.

I wish Caroline best wishes. I love her comedy. No one deserves this bastard disease.

Owllady Tue 13-May-14 19:29:48

It's not maybe, that is what is happening frosty fingers. If people are angry about the depth of anger, indignation towards them, they have a right to be.

You may be a nice person,but the people you have voted for have not been fair to many of the most vulnerable people within our society including their carers. Carers are a group of society which is more likely to live in poverty, to have to hear time after time they are rewarding HARD WORKING PEOPLE (who pay tax) makes me teeth itch at best, feel murderous at worst smile

So yes, the well he she smoked, drank, whatever. Is tasteless, insensitive but grates on people who are already struggling because they have had a gutfull

hackmum Tue 13-May-14 19:29:51

I'm a big fan of Caroline Aherne. This news makes me feel very sad.

Of course there is a direct correlation between smoking and lung cancer - idiotic to pretend it's not. So there is a sense in which the disease is self-inflicted. It doesn't mean that she "deserves" the disease.

everlong Tue 13-May-14 19:30:50

Or maybe " I'm asking if I'm being unreasonable but no fucker dare say I am " sparkling grin

FoxSticks Tue 13-May-14 19:31:51

I have nearly posted this a couple of times and then deleted. I posted earlier about my mum dying from lung cancer and the judgement we received. I found the Tory comments pretty distasteful too.

There's been plenty of implied critism hiding in the guise of stating facts aintnobodyhere.

TSSDNCOP Tue 13-May-14 19:33:37

Sorry about your mum Fox. I'm hiding this thread now.

TSSDNCOP Tue 13-May-14 19:34:06

I forgot these flowers

Owllady Tue 13-May-14 19:35:25

I'm sorry I didn't mean to upset anyone

grocklebox Tue 13-May-14 19:40:50

you can have compassion and still acknowledge a persons role in their own illness. You dont become a saint because you get cancer.
I smoked for years. Ive stopped now, but if I get lung cancer, it will be in the main, my own fault.
I'll still deserve sympathy, empathy, help, support, etc. I don't need to pretend it has nothing to do with me.

Sparklingbrook Tue 13-May-14 19:42:45

But if you do nobody will be discussing it being your fault on an internet forum grockle.

Owllady Tue 13-May-14 19:46:15

Or your own family, unless they are Tories
That was a joke <tried to make amends>
<realises she has a west Midlands offensive sense of humour>

Owllady Tue 13-May-14 19:47:12

God that sounds awful! It was a joke
[Digs own grave]

everlong Tue 13-May-14 19:50:42

Where the fuck did the Tories come into this? confused

ShadyLadyT Tue 13-May-14 19:52:39

Hackmum -as I said upthread (so have many others), 10% of lung cancer is contracted by never smokers like my late DH. That is thousands of people in the UK alone, every year.

It's so glib to say it's just a disease that smokers get, ergo it's self inflicted.

I have immense sympathy for all lung cancer sufferers and their families.

Owllady Tue 13-May-14 19:53:47

It was the person who keeps swans in a shed type swannery thing
<slinks out of thread>

MistressDeeCee Tue 13-May-14 19:56:36

Even if they thought it they shouldn't have voiced it. Why the need to be so unkind? Self-righteous idiots. This is a real shame

MorrisZapp Tue 13-May-14 20:15:22

Caroline Aherne is a national treasure. (although not the voice of Dr Hamster, I was gutted to discover).

I love the bittersweet tone of her work and never more than when she works with Craig Cash. They are like The Smiths of comedy or something.

I don't see any judgement at all on this thread (could somebody quote the unkind or unsympathetic posts please?).

Given the thread title, the correlation between smoking and cancer was always going to be discussed here, it's inevitable when a young person gets a terrible disease that their lifestyle is high risk for.

I have dear friends and relatives who have died of illnesses related to lifestyle. I love and mourn them no less, but I don't see how I can ask others to pretend their was no link between their lifestyle and their illness.

I have dear friends and relatives who have died of random, bad luck illnesses too. I'm not naive enough to imagine that nobody with a healthy lifestyle will ever get seriously ill.

BMW6 Tue 13-May-14 20:18:20

Well I hope CA never voted Conservative or she'd get another kicking angry

Some people on here are just absolute wankers.

FoxSticks Tue 13-May-14 20:38:50


Don't worry Owl lady, it wasn't you who upset me. You sound like you have your own worthwhile cause to dislike Dave. I just struggle to believe that all the judgy people I was faced with were all Torys. When would they have had the time to go around upsetting cancer patients when they are apparently too busy boiling kittens and giving Chinese burns to small children? (Disclaimer - I regularly vote Tory and don't really believe this. My Mum on the other hand hated them.)

I was sitting here thinking that in my experience lung cancer is one of the few illnesses where people feel they have the right to ask questions about your lifestyle choices. Then I remembered all the shitty things that were said about Clarissa Dickson Wright and her weight on here. So I guess there are people who just enjoying feeling superior and passing judgement.

everlong Tue 13-May-14 20:39:50

I think hope those saying it's no surprise or what do you expect are in the minority.

I'm expecting CA to have a lot of love and support from her fans. I hope so.

FoxSticks Tue 13-May-14 20:46:39

I hope so to Everlong. I'm hope she is surrounded by lots of supportive and loving family and friends.

AnyFucker Tue 13-May-14 20:53:56

Gosh, this is sad news. I hope she can be successfully treated.

windchime Tue 13-May-14 21:48:08

As someone who lost both parents to smoking-related cancers, I have no sympathy. Educated people know the risks. And as Aherne had already suffered from one form of cancer, you would have thought she would have at least minimised the chance of developing others. Smoking causes cancer and anyone who believes otherwise has their (smokers) head in the sand.

brdgrl Tue 13-May-14 21:58:09

I had cervical cancer. In an argument once, my sister said something to the effect of my deserving it because I'd had multiple sex partners. (Just to clarify, I was hardly promiscuous! - I'd had a couple of long-term relationships that both ended when the guy cheated on me, and a couple of casual relationships.)

We long ago made up from the argument, but I haven't ever forgotten the was so hurtful.

Rafflesway Tue 13-May-14 22:01:02

Ok we all know about the dangers of smoking but please, CA didn't murder anyone. She has brought much pleasure to a great many people. The only people who deserve this and other similar vile diseases are the paedophiles, murderers, rapists, people who con others out of life savings etc etc. - sorry but no sympathy there at all! However, it never seems to happen to these lowlife types does it? Let's all hope CA has a speedy recovery along with many others battling this horrendous condition called CANCER!

MaidOfStars Tue 13-May-14 22:06:17

There is a very fine between acknowledging clear risks for certain cancers and suggesting that people 'deserve' cancer because they ignored those risks. I cannot comprehend the idea that anyone 'deserves' cancer, even the most disgraced of criminals.

crazynanna Tue 13-May-14 22:10:56

My mum has lung cancer. She is dying. She smoked for years. Makes no difference to me. She is still dying. She is only 67.

Owllady Tue 13-May-14 22:12:35


sharonthewaspandthewineywall Tue 13-May-14 22:12:48

Bleeurghh I hate the term 'self inflicted' it's so smug and self righteous

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 13-May-14 22:26:41

This thread reminds me of one a few months ago regarding Stupid Things People Say to the terminally ill, those facing bereavement and the bereaved.

Is there a lack of compassion being shown by those who say it's "self inflicted"? Yes because they are not showing any compassion, they are making themselves feel better.

DrankSangriaInThePark Wed 14-May-14 06:30:06

Oh well, the shitlist spreadsheet grows ever longer.

About what we've come to expect from MN of late.

Windchime- you're all heart, you really are. hmm

Crazynana (and others who have lost/are losing loved ones to this bastard thing) hide the thread. You don't need to read vicious shit like this. flowers

JakeBullet Wed 14-May-14 06:34:19

Really sad to read the news yesterday.

For those berating her for smoking.....she hasn't smoked for a few years now and this cancer is related to cancer she had as a child. HTH you when you are feeling all judgey!

tethersend Wed 14-May-14 19:28:32

thanks crazynanna

My cousin died of lung cancer at 37. He was a smoker. It was still a fucking tragedy.

hackmum Wed 14-May-14 19:42:45

"Hackmum -as I said upthread (so have many others), 10% of lung cancer is contracted by never smokers like my late DH. That is thousands of people in the UK alone, every year.

It's so glib to say it's just a disease that smokers get, ergo it's self inflicted."

Sorry to hear about your DH. Luckily I didn't say that it's just a disease that smokers get. Smoking, however, is the principal cause of lung cancer, and the overwhelming majority of people who get it do so because they are or used to be smokers. That's why there is a massive public health campaign to stop people smoking. Governments don't put money into these things just for the fun of it.

Acknowledging that a person's lung cancer is caused by smoking doesn't mean they deserve to have it.

Latara Wed 14-May-14 20:25:14

I think people like to find a 'cause' for other people's ill health because it makes them feel safer themselves - if you can blame for example the person's weight or smoking or drinking habit for their illness then it means you can stay 'safe' from that illness by not being overweight or drinking or smoking.

But obviously the truth is that despite the fact that drinking, smoking and being overweight contributes to a lot of illness some people are just unlucky and there is NO apparent cause of their illness.
Diabetes type 2 is a case in point - people love to blame obesity because it makes them feel immune when in fact some poor people like my friend's dad have no contributing factor in getting it.

Anyway, it's very tragic whether smoking was the cause or not - 50 is unbelievably young to get such a horrible disease.

kinsorange Wed 14-May-14 20:38:43

People never think it will happen to them despite all the knowledge they have about the risks

Sadly it catches out a lot of people

expatinscotland Wed 14-May-14 20:45:06

Newsflash: people never think it will happen to them no matter what.

As the mother of a child who died of cancer, some of the responses on this thread really make me sick.

That's a bit defeatist expat. There are millions of ex-smokers in the world - almost all of whom have been influenced in that choice by the knowledge of the damage it does to your health. Day by day their bodies are recovering and they are getting further away from the risks of a horrible premature death. Yes they could get run over by a bus tomorrow or contract an unpreventable cancer. But all those risks pale by comparison with the magnitude of the risks of smoking, which doubles your risk of dying at any given age, and which will kill half the people who don't quit (and many of the ones who do quit but not early enough). And we have a right to talk about that, and to be furious - not angry with the victims, only their family members really have the right to feel that, but with the people who are still pushing this stuff all around the world in pursuit of profit.

hackmum Thu 15-May-14 07:59:13

"And we have a right to talk about that, and to be furious - not angry with the victims, only their family members really have the right to feel that, but with the people who are still pushing this stuff all around the world in pursuit of profit."

Yes, that's true. It's a shame that people still point the finger of blame at individuals when there is a huge industry out there making vast amounts of money from selling a product that kills people. They are exactly the same as drug pushers, except for some reason they are not ostracised by polite society.

IdkickJilliansAss Thu 15-May-14 12:09:57

Sadly a lot of people take up smoking as children under the age and as such are not really best placed for thinking about the future

expatinscotland Thu 15-May-14 14:40:58

None of us has the right to fuck all in reality, but feel free to get sanctimonious, everyone on here does, and waste their energy on self-righteous anger at all kinds of shit.

We will all die. Millions stop smoking, and live to get dementia. I'd take the cancer any day.

This lady had quit smoking.

Patrick Swayze did not. Instead he got pancreatic cancer, which is not related to smoking as far as anyone knows.

Swannery Thu 15-May-14 14:43:44

I read that pancreatic cancer can be caused by taking vitamin C tablets, which some people take because they think it protects them from cancer...

EverythingCounts Thu 15-May-14 16:07:34

Swannery bloody hell, really? You can't do right for doing wrong sometimes...

kinsorange Thu 15-May-14 16:12:55

You do read sometimes that you should eat more of something or other to stop getting cancer or whatever.
But you can then read say the next week that that is one of the foods to not eat too much of if you want to avoid a heart attack or whatever.

Everything in moderation I suppose. Avoid harmful substances if you can. Take some exercise.
And I would probably add, take a bit of notice of what is in your family history, and sway towards or away from those foods to a certain extent?

But we will all die of something or other.

Boy, that sounds grim, and preachy.

Reddeb Thu 15-May-14 16:31:14

Such a horrible horrible attitude, my father died of lung cancer in his early 50s he had never smoked a cigarette in his life or worked or lived in a smoky environment. Sometimes lung cancer just happens for no reason that we know about just like any other cancer. Also the latest research from the us shows that 40% of lung cancers occur in never or former smokers ( defined as given up 10 or more years). And as someone has said already such a large number of people suffer from lung cancer even 10% is a lot of people. Due to stigma it is the most underfunded unresearched cancer, no one seems to give a shit. Anyway no one deserves such a cruel disease even if the did smoke, but causation isn't so simple. If smoking cause lung cancer full stop, then all smokers would get lung cancer and no never smokers would ever get it.

Cereal0ffender Thu 15-May-14 16:42:58

She is one funny women, there aren't enough funny women on the telly I wish her all the luck in the world.

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