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?"
Kerry is a stooge, but there are also Two Americas. One in which the privileged don't have to suffer the indignity of working in a sweat shop filled with second hand smoke. The other is the one in which the poor are forced to work at Wal-Mart where they stand at the door, greeting people that are exinguishing their cigarettes.
And this all could've been prevented if they'd have been elected, approved embryonic stem cell research and created One America where we're all the same.
Dana Reeve and Hillary Clinton:
What did Bush know and when did he know it? You've got to get to the bottom of it, P. America is counting on you lobby for impeachment articles. We can't have people dying of lung cancer.
On "Nightline" tonight they said that lumg cancer research got less financial support because it is perceived to be caused by behavior. There's a stigma attached to it. So why does AIDS get so much support?
but look at poor George Burns, with his always present cigar, he died at such a young age...LOL
When I was a young kid, my mom and step-dad used to take me to alcaholics anonymous meatings. In those meetings the attendees smoked like fiends. I can remember vividly some forty years later a layer of smoke about six inches thick about four feet off the floor.
Ask a fireman what the number one killer is in fires. It isn't the heat or being burned alive. Smoke is the killer.
I know this is a contentious subject on this forum. I know that figures are overblown by both sides to prove points. I'm not here to say that one side is totally right and the other totally wrong.
If I have a choice to make, it will be to avoid smoke filled rooms. If I have to weigh which is more safe, the room absent the smoke is the one I'd have to assess being more safe.
Whole thing's bulls**t. Forget facts or science......
This was the lead story on ABC and NBC news. Why?
I think she got it from breathing Liberal air in a Liberal State . . .
Yeah, and Jimmy Fixx literally ran himself into the ground, along with that guy who invented those Powerbars. Unbelievable.
We don't know for 100% what caused Mrs. Reeve's lung cancer, but second-hand is not bullcrap, it did kill my grand-aunt who was in a house full of smokers and never once fired one up herself. At least she lived to almost 90.
Because she was a Kerry supporter and they could use her. Lung cancer hits people with no risk factors,too. Sadly, the major news media will use her death to push their agenda for no second hand smoke anywhere, stem cell research, blah, blah, blah.... I am also a non-smoker but believe the truth is more important than the agenda.
Amen. Some people just will never admit that smoking kills.May be legal, but it is deadly. My dad smoked 4 packs a day for years, mom never did. BOTH died from lung cancer.
There is no comparison between tobacco smoke found in even the smokiest of bars or nightclubs and the smoke found in a typical house fire. If you want to ask a firefighter (which is what they prefer to be called) about this, you just did.
The heck it ain't. Even the WHO (no, not the rock band) debunked second-hand smoke years ago.
it did kill my grand-aunt who was in a house full of smokers and never once fired one up herself. At least she lived to almost 90
But she lived a relatively long life though, so that point is moot.
So you are saying it was more likely second hand BS from her peers than second hand smoke? I think you may have a point, I do know much of their BS makes me very ill.
That was the cause of her lung cancer, and her physician and medical examiner concurred.
"But she lived a relatively long life though, so that point is moot."
The point is that her physicians expected her to live to 100, and were it not for her exposure to decades of second-hand smoke (mind you, even 20 years after she was hardly around any), she would not have died of lung cancer. The irony is that her brother-in-law, my grandfather, smoked for nearly 70 years (from the time he was a child), and suffered absolutely no ill-effects whatsoever from his habit.
Good question, maybe because there is no group raising cain on behalf of smokers, demanding money to cure lung cancer. Hollywood doesn't promote/condone smoking so there little publicity for smokers. Smokers as a group don't have parades either, or a Smoker's Pride Day. Schools don't teach that smoking is only an alternate lifestyle either. Hmmmmm...
No, I've seen what he looks like. He apparently died many years ago.
Could it be that the cancer in her lungs was just a mass that settled in her lungs, as they do in other parts of the body? Is lung cancer only caused by smoking?
Nightclubs were notorious for foul air, especially cigarette smoke which sometimes could make your eyes water. I worked clubs for a while and after a worknight during my shower, the black residue would pour out of my nose and a mouth gargle would reveal more black residue in the back of my throat. My entire body and clothes would stink.
The club smoke density was substantially higher than the casual exposure you would get in say, the home environment. You breathed it in and your lungs acted like filter...you 'smoked' whether you liked it or not.
Sadly some of my musician friends have been afflicted with this particular cancer.
I can't agree with their politics but that sounds like a fair comment about her. She seemed to be a hell of a woman under trying circumstances. I admire her and feel for her son.
What killed Dana Reeve?
What a bunch of bull crap!!!
On behalf of every fireman in the U.S. thanks for your opinion. Look, if you want to claim that smoke is good for us go ahead. I did not make the claim that the smoke produced by cigarettes is the same as smoke in your average house fire. What I did say was that smoke is the number one killer in fires and that smoke is not good for human lungs. If you wish to dispute that, be my guest.
Thanks. Sorry about your folks.
CANCER killed her; an inoperable cancer. Inoperable cancer nearly always kills.
Perhaps we should focus on the fact that there have been zilch, zero, nada advancements made in the last few decades for such cancers as lung, liver, pancreatic, stomach, and other typically inoperable cancers.
The pharma companies, oncologists, and researchers just LOVE to have you looking for any little thing in her background that might have "caused" her cancer, to cover up the fact that they are getting rich on chemo despite their abject failure to produce results. Why, they bank on the fact that your family, when faced with this, will cling to the 1% "hope" that they offer. The elixir peddlers of our time.
Get on with the dissecting of her life; hundreds of other innocents will die tomorrow having been shoved full of worthless chemo....but hey...the oncologists will relax this weekend at their lake homes; and the CEO of Merck might jet off to Monaco.
This is the only "business" that rewards abject failure; and it has for years. Cut them off at the knees (no insurance payments for futile treatments) and we might get some results.
There is a PSA on most radio talk shows from time to time warning of Radon gas and saying it's "the second leading cause of lung cancer."
Do they get that data from death certificates? I didn't know the cause of lung cancer was so easily determined. Some gov't agency is the sponsor of the Announcement.
Radon collects in basements of home built on hard rock formations. It must be vented from below as it is heavier than air, like chlorine and carbon dioxide.