guest post by Katie Brown of LUNGevity
November is lung cancer awareness month. I’d like to share with you some facts, some reasons to hope, and why the fight continues.
- Lung cancer is the deadliest of all cancers- killing more people than the next top 4 major cancers combined. It kills twice as many women as breast cancer and 2 times as many men as prostate cancer.
- Lung cancer is a “Women’s Disease”
- Lung cancer is a “Men’s Disease”
- More than 60% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are non-smokers and lifeline never smokers.
- Every 2.5 minutes someone is diagnosed with lung cancer.
- Anyone with lungs, even never smokers, at any age, can get lung cancer.
- It is the least funded cancer- even though it’s the deadliest.
- 1 in 15 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer.
- There is no universal early detection test for lung cancer.
- There is no cure
- Today, more people are willing to talk about lung cancer.
- More organizations are including lung cancer in their awareness efforts.
- There has been some focus on why more women are being diagnosed with lung cancer.
- There has been some media coverage on men who are living with and surviving lung cancer.
- While smoking cessation and awareness efforts continue, there is an acknowledgement that not all lung cancers are a result of smoking and that only 10% of smokers get lung cancer (they get many other diseases too)
- Thanks to LUNGevity there is more support today for someone who is diagnosed with lung cancer.
- There are new CT Screening programs for people at risk for lung cancer.
- There have been more discoveries in the past 5 years than there have been in that previous 40 years.
- The past five years have seen many new discoveries in the treatment and support of people with lung cancer. It’s an exciting time in research and patients are benefiting from new therapies. When my dad was diagnosed, treatments had not changed in 40 years. Today there is hope for someone diagnosed with lung cancer.
- While LUNGevity is the nations largest lung cancer nonprofit and the top funder of lung cancer research, there’s still much work to be done.
- The public still holds misconceptions about the disease- that it’s simply a preventative disease and that only smokers get it. There is far less media attention and no wide spread awareness effort. There is still no early detection for the disease so the majority of people diagnosed with lung cancer are diagnosed in the latest stages.
Please join us this November and throughout the year to raise awareness about lung cancer. People diagnosed with lung cancer deserve support and treatment options. With an investment in lung cancer research, there can be more survivors.
Katie Brown is Vice President of Support and Survivorship Programs for LUNGevity Foundation. She lost her father to lung cancer in 2003.