November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Here are some statistics –
- Lung cancer is the #1 cause of cancer death in men and women
- The lung cancer death rate in women has more than doubled over the past 38 years.
- More people die of lung cancer than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined
- Average 5-year survival rate for lung cancer overall is 17%
- Average 5-year survival rate with early detection (at STAGE 1) is more than 90%
- Exposure to radon and other chemicals in the environment can also cause lung cancer.
The American Lung Association has been infused with new energy thanks to the LUNGFORCE campaign. Their goals – Raise Awareness. Educate. Empower. Raise Funds. Reverse the Course of Lung Cancer.
LungForce Boston Expo – I recently attended the LUNGFORCE Boston Expo to hear medical providers give information about statistics, prevention, screening and treatment. Patients shared their stories about what it is lung to have lung cancer and go through treatment. There, I met people living beyond their prognosis; living and thriving.
Ways You Can Get Involved and Help Support Lung Health –
- Fight-for-Life Climb. February 4, 2017 Boston.
- LungForce Runs/Walks. May 11, 2017 Boston. June 10 Providence, Rhode Island.
- Join the Force!
Lahey Healthcare offers FREE screeningg for those at risk of lung cancer. Contact them to see if you qualify for free screening. Other hospitals also have lung cancer CT screening programs. Ask your doctor about screening if you think you may be at risk for lung cancer.
Risks for lung cancer (from Mayo Clinic) –
- Smoking. (Your risk of lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes you smoke each day and the number of years you have smoked.)
- Exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Exposure to radon gas.
- Exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens.
- Family history of lung cancer.
The Centers for Disease Control has more information on lung cancer screening, who should be screened and pros/cons.