Central New York, Community, Health

Upstate Cancer Center spreads awareness about lung cancer through a human ribbon of light

(c) Eshalaxmi Barlingay

By Eshalaxmi Barlingay SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – November signifies the month of Lung Cancer Awareness and to help spread it, Syracuse’s Upstate Cancer Center hosted an event – formation a human ribbon.

“We get hundreds of new lung cancer patients here at Upstate every year,” said Dr. Leslie Kohman, Upstate’s director for outreach. Lung Cancer is one of the most deadliest cancers. It is usually caused by smoking, exposure to certain toxins or when passed down a family line.

“Not every cancer story is about how many deaths have occurred. It is about it’s survivors too,” Dr. Kohman said.

Glen Wells smoked everyday. He said many of his family members had cancer. Thus, to be on the safer side, his doctors suggested him to get a checkup done at Upstate. “I could not believe I was diagnosed,” Wells said. However, through Upstate’s medication and treatment, his cancer is now cured.

“I feel very blessed. I can go back to my normal life and do normal things,” Wells said, who has now quit smoking as well.

Dr. Kohman said cancer, not only attacks smokers, but also non-smokers. “People who smoke and people who do not smoke, both the categories can be contacted with cancer.” She added, “spreading awareness and eradicating cancer is our only best option.”

The event unfolded with people lighting candles and writing messages for the ones they lost and the ones who are still fighting. A human ribbon of light was also formed, to signify unity and strength.