Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Barbara Tarbox~ Face of Lung Cancer

A patient gave me this package from a Canadian cigarette pack.  The picture was very disturbing.  A young, 42 year old woman, bald, thin lying on a bed.  The picture was taken right before she died of lung cancer from smoking cigarettes.  I couldn't help thinking that I wish we had something like this for melanoma.  I think pictures speak a thousand words and evoke reality into something that we just can't grasp.  It is easy to do something that we have heard is bad for you by ignoring it. If we want to do something bad enough, we will.   I did for 20 years.  I always thought, "Not me."  "I will stop before anything bad happens to me." "I don't smoke that much."  I also did it with tanning.  Always had an excuse to do it even though I knew it probably wasn't healthy.  I think Canada has done a wonderful job of getting the point across that smoking is not glamorous.  It causes cancer and kills.  This woman wanted her picture to be on the packs of cigarettes to stop people from smoking.  To stop them from becoming like her.  I admire her so much for doing this.  Sure, people can purchase them and still ignore the picture, but it seems kinda hard too.  I hope most do not.  I am sure she hoped the same.  RIP Barbara Tarbox and thank you for getting an important message out there!  You are changing lives!


  1. I agree, Melissa! Difficult photos to look at are sometimes the most powerful messages sent. It's the scars that tell the true story and I'm always proud of those who have shared such photos, including you.

    I lost my brother to melanoma and my mom to lung cancer (she was a heavy smoker). All cancers need to just go away!

  2. Yes, they do need to go away! I agree, the pictures really get the message across. I hope we can get the message of melanoma across the same way. Slap some stickers with pictures of melanoma scars and tumors on the tanning beds or something. I never thought twice about showing my pictures of my leg, scars etc. It was difficult up until recently to actually not be self conscious about showing them in public. Now they are a apart of me and I am not embarassed of them anymore.