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New Research From American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Finds Lung Cancer Awareness Remains Critically Low Despite Being #1 Cancer Killer of Women

LUNG FORCE raises awareness about this deadly disease by announcing nationwide story drive to illustrate the impact of lung cancer, amplify voices of those whose lives are impacted by lung cancer

(November 1, 2016) - St. Paul, MN

To kick off Lung Cancer Awareness Month this November, the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative, released today the findings from its 3rd annual Women’s Lung Health Barometer. The Barometer revealed that despite being the #1 cancer killer of women, awareness about lung cancer remains critically low – in fact, 98 percent of women don’t even have lung cancer on their radar. In an effort to increase awareness and save lives, LUNG FORCE continues to urge Americans to get involved in the fight against lung cancer and learn about their risk.

“The diagnosis of lung cancer shouldn't happen by chance, or so late, as it does for so many,” Penny Fena, Chief Mission Officer of the Lung Association of the Upper Midwest. “Awareness about lung cancer and the availability of screening for high-risk populations is key to detecting lung cancer early, when more treatment options are available. In fact, when lung cancer is caught before it spreads, the likelihood of survival more than triples. This underscores the importance of public education and awareness about this deadly disease, because together, we can save lives.”

New research shows the need for continued education
The 3rd Annual Women's Lung Health Barometer surveyed more than 1,000 women to better understand what women know about lung cancer. The survey revealed:

  • Only half of women at high risk for lung cancer have spoken to their doctor about it.
  • Three out of five women incorrectly believe, or are not sure, that lung cancer has a similar survival rate to other cancers, yet in reality the likelihood of surviving cancer is about five times lower than other cancers.
  • Once educated about the facts, four out of five women say they are likely to seek out more information, tell their friends and speak with their doctor about the disease.

These findings demonstrate the need for stronger awareness efforts. To address this, LUNG FORCE is launching a story drive in honor of Lung Cancer Awareness Month to demonstrate the devastating impact of lung cancer.

Women and men are urged to share their voice to help raise awareness about the leading cancer killer of men and women by sharing their story about how lung cancer has impacted their lives at LUNGFORCE.org. The American Lung Association and its LUNG FORCE initiative is trying to make significant strides in the fight against lung cancer by using our most powerful tool – our voices. This collection of personal stories will illustrate the impact that lung cancer has in our country, giving us the power to ignite change.

The American Lung Association recommends speaking with your doctor if you believe you may be at risk for lung cancer. Risk factors for lung cancer include smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, radon gas, air pollution or genetic factors. Screening with annual low-dose CT scans for those considered high risk for lung cancer is now covered by most health insurance companies and Medicare. Learn more with this quiz to determine if you or someone you know should be screened for lung cancer at Lungcancerscreeningsaveslives.org.

To save the lives of the nearly quarter of a million Americans that will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, and the 3,660 in Minnesota alone, more early detection methods and personalized treatment options are needed. Because, if lung cancer is caught before it spreads, the likelihood of survival more than triples. If Americans are aware of the facts, we can change this devastating reality.

During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, #ShareYourVoice about why early detection is important to you. By doing so, you are not only raising awareness, you are providing support and inspiring others to be courageous as they face lung cancer. To share your story and show your support, visit LUNGFORCE.org and use #ShareYourVoice on social media, including LUNG FORCE’s Facebook page and Twitter handle.

About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.

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