Kathy Griffin's Home Concert
- Due to the omicron COVID-19 outbreak, and her recent lung removal surgery, comedian Kathy Griffin decided to skip Stevie Wonder’s concert and host her own concert at home.
- Griffin was diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer in August, and went through surgery where half of her lung was removed.
- Recently, COVID-19 cases have spiked due to the omicron variant. Those who are immunocompromised should keep themselves safe by staying at home, social distancing, regularly washing your hands, and also getting vaccinated and boosted.
Griffin explains that they decided to skip the event due to the spike in COVID-19 cases and her missing half a lung from surgery. It’s understandable that Griffin would be a little bummed out about missing a Stevie Wonder live concert, but it’s important that she prioritize her health and make sure she’s not in jeopardy.
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Griffin has been recovering from surgery where she had half her lung in order to treatment her stage 1 lung cancer. She announced her cancer diagnosis in August, and kept fans up-to-date on her treatment process while praising the incredible support system around her. She went through surgery in November, and has been recovering well since.
Griffin is among the many who have been diagnosed with lung cancer, but has never been a frequent smoker. It’s a common misconception that lung cancer is only a disease that affects smokers, but it actually can be diagnosed in those who have never smoked. According to The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, in the United States, about 10% to 20% of lung cancers, or 20,000 to 40,000 lung cancers each year, happen in people who never smoked.
Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers
There’s been some incredible progress in lung cancer treatment in recent decades, but it’s still one of the deadliest types of cancers affecting Americans. While it does mainly affect those who are smokers, one in five people who have never smoked or vaped will be diagnosed with the disease. The reason for the diagnosis can alternate between exposure to air pollution, asbestos, or second-hand smoke. That being said, smokers are 25 times more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than non-smokers.
In addition to the difference in diagnosis, treatment can differ based on whether you have smoked or not. For non-smokers, or those who have smoked very little, patients often see up to a 70% successful treatment rate. “Among patients who are non-smokers, or former very light smokers, we identify a mutation that we can target with pills in about 60% to 70% of them,” Dr. Ronald Natale, Director of the Lung Cancer Clinical Research Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, previously told SurvivorNet. “That leaves 30% or so, 40%, in whom we either have a target for which we do not have successful treatment…So we’re giving chemotherapy to about 30% to 40% of patients who are non-smokers.”
How To Stay Safe
In recent weeks, COVID-19 cases have spiked across the country due to the new omicron variant. Because of this, it’s so important that those who are immunocompromised, such as Griffin, to stay safe and follow safe guidelines. This can include staying at home, social distancing, regularly washing your hands, and also getting vaccinated and boosted.
Those who are immunocompromised can include those with preexisting conditions, those who have cancer, or those who have gone through cancer treatment. This can make them more susceptible to catching COVID-19 as well as having more serious health complications if they contract the virus. It’s recommended that those who are at higher risk try to limit their exposure to big groups and maintain COVID-19 guidelines.
Last week the Centers for Disease Control announced a “clinical preference” for individuals to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine over Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The CDC also recommends that immunocompromised people receive an additional mRNA COVID-19 vaccine following the 2-dose primary series. This is different than the booster shot. Studies indicate some immunocompromised people do not always build as high a level of immunity after vaccination as immunocompetent people do. An additional dose may prevent serious disease in people whos immune system may not have responded fully to the initial 2-dose series.