Who can I blame? I am 67 years old and have been a heavy smoker all my life. I have lived with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and was just diagnosed with lung cancer. I made my bed and now I have to sleep in it.
This patient vignette portrays the self-blame, suffering, and personal pain that a diagnosis of lung cancer may precipitate in patients who smoked cigarettes for a significant part of their life. Lung cancers are the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.1