Monday, November 17, 2008

Asians with lung cancer

Asians who have non-small cell lung cancer may respond better to a tyrosine kinase inhibitor or TKI compared to conventional chemotherapy. Smoking is so much more common among Asian males who live in Asia. It's practically a way of life for these individuals.

As a non-smoking Asian, I have to admit that I've grown less sympathetic toward those who never try to quit smoking. I have even less empathy towards healthcare professionals who continue smoking while knowing the hazards associated with cigarette smoking. If you live in the west, you're exposed to plenty of public health messages about the hazards of smoking. If you live in a major city in Asia, you're getting more exposure to these types of public health messages. Studies have shown that medical students often get less sympathetic and more cynical as they continue in their medical studies and training. I didn't think I'd become so desensitized, but when I look in the mirror, I realize that I have lost some of that empathy that I originally had when I was a first-year medical student.

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