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Mission Moment March 2019

(March 18, 2019)


LUNG CANCER

New Lung Cancer Treatment Decision-Making Tool: Lung cancer treatment is no longer a "one size fits all" approach. A lung cancer patient's treatment is based on many factors like the type and stage of their cancer as well as their treatment preferences. Our "My Lung Cancer Treatment Planning Tool" is a new, interactive tool that helps patients learn about their type of lung cancer and potential treatment options. An interactive questionnaire provides patients with a customized worksheet they can take to their doctor to help facilitate shared decision-making conversations, enabling them to take a more active role in their treatment decisions. This educational resource was made possible thanks to the support of Lilly Oncology.

Fourth Annual LUNG FORCE ADVOCACY DAY

Next month on Wednesday, April 10, LUNG FORCE Heroes from all 50 states are joining together in Washington D.C., to ask their members of Congress to support research funding for the National Institutes of Health and to protect patients with pre-existing conditions. With your vital partnership, we have successfully increased lung cancer research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by 69 percent since the inception of LUNG FORCE in 2014. But now, more than ever, we need your support to make our voices heard on Capitol Hill. Please visit LUNGFORCE.org/Advocacy Day the week of April 8 to learn how you can amplify the efforts of our attending LUNG FORCE Heroes.

LUNG FORCE Hero: Katisha M., shares how she lost her mother to lung cancer "before she had time to fight," and her wish to help more people learn about the lifesaving potential of lung cancer screening.

RESEARCH & EPIDEMIOLOGY

Asthma Research Published: The most recently published clinical trial conducted by our Airways Clinical Research Centers Network was a study that showed that obesity had no connection in increased respiratory tract infections in patients with asthma.

New "Tobacco Trend Brief" Released: We are pleased to announce the release of the Tobacco Trend Brief, a new online resource describing trends and disparities in cigarette smoking and use of other tobacco products through figures, data tables, talking points and maps. This Trend Brief is perfect for answering tobacco-related statistical questions such as:

This can be an important resource for policy makers, people working in the health sector, researchers, or anyone who wants to learn more about tobacco use.

Investigating Home Fungal and Bacterial Exposures as IPF Risk Factors: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) shares many features with chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), a lung disease caused by environmental exposure to mold and other inhaled antigens. With funding from the Lung Association, Anna Podolanczuk, M.D. is conducting a study to determine is environmental fungal and bacterial exposure is a novel and potentially targetable risk factor for IPF.

ADVOCACY

Graphic Warning Labels a Major Tobacco Victory: In a major victory for the nation's health and the fight against tobacco, a federal court on Tuesday, March 5 ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a final rule mandating graphic health warnings on cigarette packs and advertising by March 15, 2020. This is in response to a lawsuit filed in October 2016 by the Lung Association and other health partners. This is a truly lifesaving win because tobacco use is the  nation's No. 1 cause of preventable death and studies around the world have shown that graphic warnings are most effective at informing consumers about the health risks of smoking, preventing children and other nonsmokers from starting to smoke, and motivating smokers to quit.

Cigarette pack graphic labels

Graphic warnings as first proposed by FDA


[CAPTION: Graphic warnings as first proposed by FDA]

Protecting Kids from Flavored Tobacco Products: The Lung Association also applauds the Stopping Appealing Flavors in E-Cigarettes for Kids Act (SAFE Kids Act), legislation introduced in Congress to curb the use of flavors in tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and cigars. We commend the leadership of Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who sponsored this bi-partisan bill. Stopping tobacco companies from targeting kids with tobacco products in appealing flavors is one of the most important actions we can take to reverse the youth e-cigarette epidemic and continue reducing youth tobacco use.

The Year of Air Pollution &  HealthMonth Three: As part of the American Lung Association's Year of Air Pollution & Health, last month the Lung Association held a virtual screening of the short film "Asthma Alley," which follows a young teen with asthma and her classmates in the South Bronx, a neighborhood known for extraordinarily high rates of asthma and poor air quality. The screening was followed by a panel discussion featuring the filmmaker, a representative from the community, and health experts including the Lung Association's Lyndsay Alexander and our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Al Rizzo. The recorded webinar is available for you to watch. Please note that you need to enter your name and email in order to view the recording.

March's monthly focus for Year of Air Pollution & Health is "Where Does Air Pollution Come From?" and explores major sources of harmful air pollution, including power plants, vehicle exhaust and even natural disasters like wildfires. As part of the monthly focus, the Lung Association will showcase a series of blog focusing on success stories when it comes to reducing pollution from some major sources. Learn more and find out what you can do to help protect healthy air for all.

Fighting for Federal Lung Health Protections: In late February, the Lung Association sent letters to Congress asking senators and representatives to include funding for programs that promote lung health and work to reduce lung disease as part of their federal budget appropriations process. We also asked that Congress oppose all policy riders that would weaken key lung health protections, including those in the Clean Air Act and the Tobacco Control Act. Earlier in the month, Lung Association Chief Medical Officer Al Rizzo, MD testified at the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment. Dr. Rizzo called for investment in EPA's clean air programs, urged against the inclusion of harmful policy riders in appropriations bills and explained the connections between climate change and health.

HEALTH PROMOTIONS

Learn About Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Sleep Awareness Week was March 10-16 and were you aware that there is a breathing disorder that only occurs when you sleep?  Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition where your airways narrow or close during sleep, stopping airflow and causing apneas—short periods when you're not breathing. Apneas often happen repeatedly throughout the night, interrupting your sleep and leaving you tired after you wake up. The "apnea" in sleep apnea refers to a breathing pause that lasts at least ten seconds. Often people with obstructive sleep apnea don't know they have the disorder. These may be signs that you should you see your doctor about possible obstructive sleep apnea:

  • Loud, disruptive snoring: Your snoring disrupts your sleep and/or your bed partner's sleep. Family members may complain that you snore too loudly.
  • Pauses in breathing: Your bed partner notices that you stop breathing in your sleep.
  • Daytime sleepiness: You have a hard time staying awake during the day, at work, or when you're driving.
  • Difficult to control medical problems: If you have a hard time controlling your asthma, blood pressure, or blood sugar, you might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.

EVENTS

Want to Climb with an American Ninja Warrior? Climb season is in full swing and there's still time to  to join our 2019 National Fight For Air Climb Ambassador Najee Richardson at climbs in Philadelphia or New York! Can't make those Climbs? Join Najee's virtual team. Learn more about Najee and see some of his special Climb videos and find a climb near you.

EACH Breath Blog

It's still cold and flu season and for our latest blog, we talk to one of our medical experts to answer the question Can You Exercise with a Cold? Learn why it matters if your symptoms are "above the neck" or "below the neck."

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

You make everything we do possible. Whether it's keeping kids off tobacco, protecting the air we breathe, helping someone with lung cancer make treatment decisions, or the many other ways we help America breathe easier, it's all thanks to your generous support!

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