Journalist Sylvia Thompson has been awarded the Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC) journalist award for her coverage of lung cancer.
The competition was open to all print, broadcast and online media who promoted lung cancer awareness and support during the Irish Cancer Society’s annual Lung Cancer Awareness Month last January.
Thompson's article in the Health and Family supplement in The Irish Times was entitled "It's Ireland's deadliest cancer – so why aren't we more sympathetic?" The article discussed how there is less sympathy for lung cancer patients because of the link to smoking, and also highlighted the health inequalities associated with lung cancer – women from disadvantaged areas are much more likely to get lung cancer than those from affluent areas.
Thompson also highlighted the signs and symptoms of lung cancer and conducted interviews with Dr Finbarr O'Connell, consultant respiratory physician at St James's Hospital, Jackie Spain, a lung cancer survivor and Carolyn Roche, a former participant of the Irish Cancer Society's We Can Quit smoking cessation programme.
The Irish Cancer Society is a member of the GLCC which provide grants to the value of £500 to member organisations for media outreach on the subject of lung cancer. A judging panel – consisting of Irish Cancer Society Communications and Cancer Prevention personnel, as well as a Specialist Lung Cancer Nurse – reviewed all media coverage as part of the competition.
“We are delighted to award this prize to Sylvia, who highlighted the topic of lung cancer, the importance of dealing with it in a sensitive manner and making sure people are aware of the signs and symptoms,” said Kevin O’Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager with the Irish Cancer Society. “We are encouraged to see these important messages getting out to the public, helping to create awareness and ultimately save lives.”