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Mission Moment November 2018

(November 13, 2018)

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LUNG CANCER

Lung Cancer Awareness Month: November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and throughout  the month we will have new activities, resources and campaigns all designed to raise awareness about the leading  cancer killer in America and spread the word about lifesaving lung cancer screening for those at high risk.

  • Lung Cancer Screening Implementation Guide: This online resource, created in partnership with the American Thoracic Society with support from Genentech, is a first-of-its kind guide to help community hospitals and health systems institute lifesaving lung cancer screening systems.
  • Lung Cancer: Not What You Think: Our new LUNG FORCE digital campaign in partnership with Cancer Treatment Centers of America® encourages you to learn more about lung cancer and #JoinTheFORCE.  Visit LUNGFORCE.org/ctca and share this link with others.  
  • Lock Up Lung Cancer: Do you enjoy a good mystery or like true crime stories? Many have met it, but few know its face—the #1 cancer killer of women is shrouded in silence and mystery. Help us crack the case and expose lung cancer as the hidden killer it is. Join us and learn how to protect yourself and those you love, at: LockUpLungCancer.org.

LUNG FORCE Hero: Dave M. is a veteran and former weightlifting champion. When he started experiencing fatigue and weight loss, the last thing that came to his mind was lung cancer. Now he’s doing well through personalized treatment and is helping LUNG FORCE raise awareness about lung cancer.

Join a LUNG FORCE Event: We stand together against lung cancer and for lung health. There are countless ways to get involved with LUNG FORCE and our fight against lung cancer. From gatherings to seminars to fun fundraisers, LUNG FORCE holds many kinds of events across the country to raise awareness and support. Find an event near you.

RESEARCH

Research Funding Announced: Funding medical research is a cornerstone of our lifesaving mission. We have recently announced our funding for 2018-2019, which includes $7.3 million in lung health research. This includes investment in the new 2018-2019 Research Team through the Airways Clinical Research Centers and 58 awards and grants. We are now seeking  applicants for the 2019-2020 awards, featuring new and larger awards.

Asthma Research Findings Published: Awards and Grants recipient, Matthew Drake, MD, of Oregon Health and Science University recently published findings from his research, Eosinophils increase airway sensory nerve density in mice and in human asthma, in Science Translational Medicine. Eosinophils are disease-fighting white blood cells; however, patients with high levels of eosinophils in the lungs may suffer from inflammation, tissue damage, and airway remodeling (structural changes), which make it difficult to breathe. It's also known that eosinophils in the airways alter nerve function which makes asthma worse.

Dr. Drake and his team show that more eosinophils increased the likelihood of denser nerves in the airways. These changes in nerve structure were associated with worse lung function. Dr. Drake and his team concluded that airway remodeling contributes to the overall worsening of eosinophilic asthma.

EVENTS

Join Us at a Fight For Air Climb Near You! You can make every step count by joining a Lung  Association Fight For Air Climb. As a climber, climb sponsor or event volunteer, you are making a positive impact in the lives of those affected by lung disease. Participants raise funds to support the mission of the American Lung Association while training to climb the stairs of a skyscraper. Learn more about a Climb near you.

HEALTHCARE

Are You Covered? Healthcare coverage is critical, especially if you have lung cancer, or a chronic lung disease like asthma or COPD. People with lung disease now have access to the healthcare they need because of the Affordable Care Act. The open enrollment period to sign up for coverage in most states ends on Dec. 15. We encourage anyone with lung disease who is in need of healthcare to take advantage of this opportunity. The Lung Association has tools and tips to help you learn about and choose the right plan for you through the Affordable Care Act.

PROMOTIONS

COPD Awareness Month: Did you know that chronic obstructive pulmonary pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphesyma and chronic bronchitis, is the third leading cause of death in the U.S?  November is COPD Awareness Month and at the Lung Association, we are doing all we can to educate people about COPD and support COPD patients and their caregivers. We have a wide variety of helpful resources, including our new tools and videos on oxygen therapy, the Lung HelpLine, our Better Breathers Clubs and online Living with COPD support community—where one of our volunteer expert spokespeople Dr. David Hill will be hosting an "Ask the Expert" series from Nov. 12 to16. Also, see our new blog entry "When Asthma and COPD Overlap."

Flu Season is Here—Time to Get Vaccinated: Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious and sometimes serious, even life-threatening disease. Vaccination is the best prevention. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get an annual flu vaccine. Learn more about the flu and get quick tips on how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

ADVOCACY

Action on Healthy Air

  • Clean Cars: The comment period to tell the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to not weaken auto emission standards has ended. We want to thank everyone who added their voice to ours to tell EPA and NHTSA that cleaner cars mean cleaner, healthier air for all Americans. We were able to share nearly 1,500 comments from postcards and e-alerts, and more than 90 health and medical organizations signed our comments opposing the rollback, a truly fantastic turnout.  
  • Clean Power Plan: We submitted comments to EPA to oppose the agency’s plan to replace the Clean Power Plan with a much weaker rule that wouldn’t protect health. Thank you to the many parents and grandparents who signed the letter opposing the repeal of the Clean Power Plan and the health professionals who signed the health professionals’ declaration on climate change.
  • Mercury and Air Toxics: EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule is also under threat of rollback, and last month, we joined with physician experts from the March of Dimes and the American Thoracic Society to host a press briefing on the health impacts of power plant pollution with an emphasis on the health impacts of toxic air pollutants, including mercury.  The proposed rollback rule is still undergoing review at the White House Office of Management and Budget. This fact sheet explains the importance of protecting ourselves from air toxics like mercury.

Action on Tobacco: This November marks the 20th anniversary of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). This court settlement between 46 states and the District of Columbia and the major tobacco companies forced them to end some of their more egregious marketing practices, such as marketing to appeal to kids, and provided for annual payments to the states for some of the medical costs of caring for the 16 million Americans who have smoking-caused illnesses. In the 20 years since the settlement, many states have indeed used some of these payments as promised. This is evidenced by a steady decline in adult smoking rates, and as the CDC just reported, the lowest adult smoking rate ever. However, most states have failed to use the funds for their intended purpose and instead used them to fill budget holes or pay off debts. We are calling on all states to fund tobacco control and cessation programs at CDC recommended levels. See how your state used MSA funds in our annual "State of Tobacco Control" report.

EACH Breath Blog

It's flu season, and vaccination is necessary to help your body defend itself against dangerous diseases, including seasonal influenza (flu). Our latest blog post answers the question "Why Does My Arm Hurt After a Flu Shot?"

Everything we do is made possible because of our great supporters, like you! The lifesaving work that is carried out by Lung Association volunteers and staff is only possible because so many generous donors across the country believe in and support our mission. If you would like to become more involved, we always have opportunities for those who share our passion for lung health to join in our work.

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