Skip to comments.What killed Dana Reeve?
Posted on 03/07/2006 10:12:12 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist
Did years of singing in smoky nightclubs kill Dana Reeve, the widow of paralysed Superman actor Christopher Reeve?
She died yesterday of lung cancer even though she was not a smoker.
"Ten to 15 per cent of people who develop lung cancer are thought to be non-smokers. It was said that she had, in the course of being an entertainer, spent a lot of time in pubs, in nightclubs, in which there is a lot of cigarette smoke," said Dr James Mulshine from Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago.
Reeve, 44, won worldwide admiration for her devotion to her husband through his decade of near total paralysis.
He died 15 months ago and late last year she appeared at a gala for the Christopher Reeve Foundation and appeared to be responding well to treatment.
In the US more women die of lung cancer than breast cancer, and one in five American women diagnosed with the disease have never lit a cigarette.
"We know that 90 per cent of lung cancer is linked to direct smoking, the other 10 per cent is tied to occupational exposures, radon and secondhand smoke," said Pat McKone, a senior director of tobacco control with the American Lung Association.
"Dana Reeve was not a smoker, but she did spend many years of her singing career in smoke filled nightclubs."
Her death comes amid a worldwide debate on the danger of passive smoking and attempts to ban smoking from bars, clubs and eateries.
For instance today in New Jersey a coalition of bars, restaurants and bowling alley operators sued the state claiming its ban on smoking law is unconstitutional.
Meanwhile tributes have poured in for Reeve who was best known for standing by her husband through his courageous decade-long battle with paralysis caused by a fall from a horse.
"The brightest light has gone out," said comedian Robin Williams, one of the couple's closest friends. "We will forever celebrate her loving spirit."
Reeve's death came as a shock because she seemed to have the upper hand on the deadly disease since telling the world about her diagnosis last year, only two days after the death of American ABC TV newsman Peter Jennings.
"I'm beating the odds and defying every statistic the doctors can throw at me," Reeve said just a few months ago.
Reeve said she had learned from her late husband's struggle.
"I was married to a man who never gave up," she said.
Her death sparked an outpouring from the Reeves' many friends and admirers in Hollywood and Washington, where she was a vocal backer of stem cell research.
Former president Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton described Reeve as "a model of tenacity and grace".
"Chris was America's superhero, and Dana became our hero, too," added former presidential candidate Senator John Kerry, a close family friend.
Dana Reeve is survived by her 13-year-old son Will and two adult stepchildren, Matthew and Alexandra.
Dana Reeve, who lived in Pound Ridge, New York, had appeared in Broadway and Off-Broadway productions and on the TV shows Law & Order, Oz and All My Children.
She married Reeve in 1992 and abandoned her acting career to care for him after he was paralysed when he fell from a horse in 1995.
Christopher Reeve died on October 10, 2004.
In his autobiography, Still Me, Reeve wrote that he suggested early on to his wife, "Maybe we should let me go."
She responded, "I'll be with you for the long haul, no matter what. You're still you and I love you."
Those were "the words that saved my life", he wrote.
When your time's up, it's up, IMO....
More second-hand smoke BS...
Second hand smoke is the devil!!!!
Didn't they live in Los Angeles for a time? The air there *has* to be significantly carcinogenic....
Hey, now. L.A. is the shiny beacon of liberalism on the hill. That's blasphemy, Spktyr. Blasphemy I say.
Some folks can't wait to climb on a corpse, can they? How about all the entertainers from years gone by, who really did spend years in truly smoke filled night clubs, and yet did not die at 44 from lung cancer?
This is truly a tragedy, but I doubt it has much scientific value re: second hand smoke or even first hand smoke.
I think STRESS might be a factor though.
That's it, ET. Embryonic stem cells could've saved the day, if only Bush wasn't so close minded.
I could have sworn I heard someone on TV say today that her mother died recently of cancer, I thought lung cancer. Did I hear wrong? Could it just be heredity?
Sorta didn't matter where they lived. Lung cancer is the greatest cancer killer worldwide.
Yep, people like Keith Richards of Rolling Stones abuses drugs and is still kicking into their 60s. Genetics and pure luck, I say.
Heredity is more of a factor than anthing else when it comes to these diseases like cancer, diabetes, etc...
But we all know that second hand smoke is the culprit. It must be villified and we must protect you from your own self, flaglady. You're incapable of doing it.
If she grew up in LA in the 60s 70s she was definitely at risk.
I remember the air would burn our lungs as kids playing in the pool and yard in the summer. Everyone I knew reported the same thing.
The air is much better there now; one of the few environmental efforts that really made a difference.
And it's the most excruciating, painful way to go too.
I just wanna die like Homer Simpson says in an episode, where a bunch of beavers are eating him up - "But I wanna die choking on food!"
John Kerry is such a stooge! :D
I am a non-smoker and do not frequent establishments where there is smoking, but it was ten years between the time she gave up her career and contracting lung cancer. Lungs can heal themselves after a period of time if one stops smoking before it is too late. Second hand smoke did not cause her cancer.
That was from third hand smoke - Somebody told her that somebody in the nightclub where her daughter worked twenty years ago smoked and that gave her cancer.
But don't worry, they'll figure out how a tax increase on something will prevent future such deaths.
And people who don't drink get cirrhosis of the liver...
I doubt that lung cancer suddenly appeared among humans when tobacco-smoking became popular a few centuries ago.
(And who introduced the world to nicotine addiction and tobacco smoke? The indigenous peoples of eastern North America!)
My only question is "why did Halliburton want her dead?"
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