Spreading awareness about lung cancer can help inform people about early warning signs, raise funds for research, and encourage at-risk populations to take better care of their lung health to minimize their risk of developing the disease. Lung cancer awareness also enables patients and their families to connect with valuable support networks.
If you want to help spread awareness about this disease, its warning signs, and how to prevent it, keep reading to find out how.
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In the United States, someone is diagnosed with lung cancer every 2.2 minutes¹. According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer is one of the most common cancers globally. It has the lowest five-year survival rate of the most common cancers, including breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer.
However, when detected early, patients with lung cancer have a much higher rate of survival. Early detection can dramatically improve survival rates, which could help to prevent thousands of lung cancer-related deaths each year.
Spreading awareness of lung cancer is important as it means we can:
Help people self-identify as being at risk for developing lung cancer
Help at-risk populations access free or low-cost screenings for early detection
Raise money for lung cancer research
Promote the benefits of good lung health
Prevent thousands of lung cancer-related deaths annually
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. During this month, organizations such as the American Lung Association and the Lung Cancer Foundation of America work with organizations, community groups, and individuals to spread awareness and raise money for further research.
You can get involved in Lung Cancer Awareness Month by taking part in activities such as:
Wearing white ribbons. You can make your own ribbons or buy them through charitable organizations that donate the profits back to lung cancer research.
Participating in walks and fun runs to raise funds for lung cancer support and research. You can find a list of upcoming walks happening around the country on the American Lung Association's website. While lung cancer awareness is in November, there are also walks throughout the year to keep up the support.
Share information about lung cancer on social media. Many people aren't aware that lung cancer is so prevalent in the United States, and they also don't know that it's often preventable. Spreading this awareness may inspire more people to quit smoking or test the air quality in their homes, which can help prevent the disease.
Spread awareness about free lung cancer screenings, which can save lives. Many organizations provide free lung cancer screenings to those deemed to be at-risk for developing the disease.
If you want to get involved with Lung Cancer Awareness Month activities, sign up to volunteer through an affiliated organization's website or look for events happening near you.
Charities are engaged in valuable work to spread awareness about lung cancer, offer support for patients, and raise funding for ongoing lung cancer research to help save lives.
Here are some lung cancer charity foundations and not-for-profits that you can get involved in or find support.
Lung Cancer Research Foundation
While lung cancer kills more people annually than any other form of cancer, lung cancer research is one of the least funded compared to other cancers.
The Lung Cancer Research Foundation aims to change that by raising funds for impactful research into preventing and treating the disease and spreading information about medical advancements to the lung cancer community.
You can support their efforts through sponsored walks, fundraising events, or sharing your own story about lung cancer to inspire others also to take action.
Lung Cancer Foundation of America
The mission of the Lung Cancer Foundation of America (LCFA) is to improve lung cancer survival rates, which are currently some of the lowest among common types of cancer.
The LCFA funds research efforts while raising awareness in communities through events, including Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
While the organization focuses on fundraising, they also offer a variety of free support resources for those affected by a lung cancer diagnosis. One resource you can check out is their podcast for those newly diagnosed with lung cancer, The First 7 Days.
American Lung Association
The American Lung Association (ALA) was founded in 1904 with an aim to end tuberculosis. Its mission has evolved into ending lung cancer by funding research to prevent, treat, and cure the disease.
The ALA raises funds and educates communities on lung disease prevention. They also advocate for policy change, working with politicians on projects such as making air quality standards higher. The ALA also offers extensive resources to support anyone who wants to quit smoking.
Lung cancer charity LUNGevity funds research into the disease and offers a nationwide network of support for those living with or caring for someone with lung cancer.
The organization hosts an annual summit for lung cancer survivors to help connect those who have lived with the disease. LUNGevity also offers educational webinars for those seeking more information about the condition and virtual meetups for anyone who might not be able to make the in-person events they regularly host.
Lung Cancer Support from CancerCare
CancerCare offers free support and counseling to those affected by lung cancer. They also provide case management and financial assistance as well as local support groups.
On the CancerCare website, you can find a wide range of comprehensive free resources for anyone affected by a lung cancer diagnosis or help someone who is, including podcasts, webinars, and information on the latest research and treatment options.
Spreading awareness about lung cancer can have powerful results. When you make people aware of the risks of lung cancer, you can encourage an at-risk population to take advantage of screenings as early as possible.
You can help raise funding for research into the prevention and treatment of lung cancer. By becoming more informed about this disease, you can also help support patients and their families who manage a diagnosis of their own.
It is important to be aware of your own risk of developing lung cancer. You are at a higher risk if you satisfy all three of the following criteria:
Currently a smoker or quit within the last 15 years
Are between the ages of 50 and 80,
Have a 20-pack-year smoking history. This is the number of packs of cigarettes smoked a day multiplied by the number of years you have smoked. For example, if you smoked one pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years (1 x 20 = 20), you have a 20-pack-year smoking history.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be at a higher risk of developing lung cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends you seek advice from your doctor. Your doctor can explain your risk and whether you or your loved one should undergo lung cancer screening.
As screenings are funded by Medicare and many insurance plans, your doctor can help you to determine if you are covered.