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Respirologist Dr. Erika Penz (MD) knows Canadians spend a staggering amount of money treating lung diseases and cancer. (Photo submitted)

The burden of lung disease and lightening it, with Erika Penz

Respiratory disease now accounts for one in four hospital admissions, with lung cancer killing more patients than any other cancer.

 

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As both a respirologist and a health economist, Dr. Erika Penz knows Canadians spend a staggering amount of money treating lung diseases and cancer -- conditions that can be prevented.

That's why, early on, Penz chose to put respiratory disease in her crosshairs.

"That's actually why I get excited," said Penz. "The more we can understand and reduce these risks.... the more we can reduce the burden on both caregivers and the health care system."

By cutting smoking, vaping, and exposure to pollutants such as asbestos, Penz says we can release the tremendous pressure lung diseases place on hospitals, patients and their families.

In this episode, we hear why she became fluent in the language of both clinicians and bureaucrats; what being a clinician entails during a respiratory pandemic; and why Penz is determined to halt the pain and suffering of preventable lung disease.

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