Peter Jennings

and his fight against lung cancer

Peter Jennings was born in Toronto, Canada on July 29, 1938. Jennings started his career of news broadcasting when he was nine at the CBC (Canadian broadcasting cooperation). Jennings dropped out of highschool and became America's youngest news anchor ever at the age of 26. He was the anchor of ABC news network but quickly became frusturated that he could not compete with other news network's anchors. He quit his anchor job and became a foreign correspondent. He covered important events such as the Munich olympic massacre and the Yom Kippur war. In 1983 ABC's lead anchor, Reynolds, died of multiple myeloma. Peter Jennings replaced him and once again became lead anchor of ABC. Ratings for ABC started to steadily rise as Jennings covered important events such as the fall of the Berlin wall and 9/11. On April 1, 2005, he anchored World News Tonight
for the last time. It was April 5, 2005 when Jennings announced that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and would start chemotherpay treatment the next week. He told viewers, "As some of you now know, I have learned in the last couple of days that I have lung cancer. Yes, I was a smoker until about 20 years ago, and I was weak and I smoked over 9/11." Jennings said he would anchor again as soon as possible but this was his last broadcast. On August 7th, 2005, Jennings died. On August 10, 2005, ABC aired a two-hour special, Peter Jennings: Reporter in rememberance of Jennings. 9 million people viewed it,

Lung Cancer:

Lung cancer is cancer that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. The two main types are small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. These types are diagnosed based on how the cells look under a microscope. small cell lung cancer spreads faster and is less common, while non-small cell lung cancer spreads slowly and is acountable for 87 percent of cases. Lung cancer is the most deadly form of cancer killing 157,300 people in 2010. The cancerous tumor can cause breathing problems, leading to symptoms such as cough, wheezing, chest pain, coughing up blood, hoarsness of the voice, and difficulty swallowing. If the cancer spreads to the bone it can cause excruciating pain, and if it spreads to the brain it can cause blurred vision, headaches, and seizures. Some people may feel weakness, fatigue, and experience weight loss. 25% of lung cancer patients have no symptoms but discover through a CAT scan or on a routine chest X-ray.

Lung cancer is the number one most preventable cancer there is. The main cause of lung cancer is smoking cigarettes. 90% of patients with lung cancer are cigarette smokers. Even if you quit smoking, like Peter Jennings, you still have a high risk of getting lung cancer. Pipe and cigar smokers are also at risk for lung cancer, but the risk is not as high. Since 90% of lung cancer patients smoke, that means that 10% of lung cancer patients don't smoke and got their lung cancer by being exposed to other carcinogens. These other carcinogens include radon, asbestos, secondhand smoke, and agent orange.

Lung cancer is found more often in males than females. The reason for this is that more men smoke cigarettes than females, although female smoking is on the rise. More men also tend to go to war than women do. In war there are carcinogens such as agent orange that can cause lung cancer. Recent statistics shows that the incidence of lung cancer in males is 86 per 100,000 and incidence in females is 57 per 100,000. When people get lung cancer they are almost always eldery. 70 years old is the median age at which the diagnosis is usually made. The races in america with the highest percentage of lung cancer patients are African Americans and Hawaiians. Scottland and Wales are the two top countries for lung cancer patients, and in the U.S the highest incidence of lung cancer is see northern urban areas along the southern coast. This area includes Texas and Florida.

Treatment for lung cancer is determined on the patients health, the stage of their cancer, and their preferences. Some patients feel that the side affects of treatment out weigh the benifits, and they focus on just treating the pain that the cancer causes. This is called supportive care, To treat the lung cancer, doctors can perform surgery to remove the lung cancer. This is usually one of the first options and happens before the other treatments, if possible. Patients can also undergo chemotheraphy, when drugs are used to kill the cancer cells. A combination of drugs usually is given in a series of treatments over a period of weeks or months. Another type of treatment is radiation. In radiation, high-powered energy beams are used to kill cancer cells. This treatment can be used by it self or along with other treatments. A newer type of treatment is targeted therapies. Targeted therapies are newer cancer treatments that work by targeting specific abnormalities in cancer cells. Patients can also partake in clinical trials. These are newly discovered treatments that doctors are not sure about. They do not guarentee a cure and are usually a last resort when no other treatments work.
Sadly, lung cancer is the deadliest forms of cancer that there is. In 2010, 222,520 men and women were diagnosed with lung cancer and 157,300 people died from lung cancer. The 5 year survival rate for small cell lung cancer is only 6% and for non-small cell lung cancer the survival rate is 15%. Although there is not a lot of hope for lung cancer patients, there is still some hope for them to survive.



Peter Jennings was a smoker. This was probably the main cause of his cancer and the reason he died. Although he did quit smoking, he still was a cigarette smoker and that is just as much a cause of lung cancer as somoene who still smokes. Jennings also visited a lot of places in time of war when he was a jounralist. Possibly, carcinogens caused by the war could have affected Peter and caused him to obtain his lung cancer. Peter Jennings did undergo chemotherapy treatment, but it proved un affective and he died at the age of 67, 4 months after he discovered he had lung cancer. Since Jennings had such a short time to live once he figured out he had cancer, he sadly did not make any organizations to help fund reseearch for cancer.

Peter Jenning's last broadcast


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Made by Sean Okonsky