Nearly three years ago, the American Lung Association formed LUNG FORCE with the goal of uniting the nation against lung cancer, the leading cancer killer of both women and men in the U.S. Together, we are making lung cancer a cause people care about, driving policy change and increasing research funding.

In 2016, we organized our first ever LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day to take the fight to Capitol Hill, and LUNG FORCE Heroes – those personally impacted by lung cancer – from all 50 states shared their stories with Congress to advocate for increased, robust funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Despite recent advances in lung cancer treatment and early detection solutions, we know that much work remains and the need for new solutions to address lung cancer is great:

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for both women and men in our country.
  • Last year, 224,000 Americans were diagnosed with lung cancer, and of those diagnosed half will not even survive one year.
  • Only 16 percent of these people are diagnosed at an early stage, when more treatment options are available. In fact, survival rates are five times higher when lung cancer is detected early.
  • Research funding to develop more treatment options and methods of early detection has the potential to save more lives.

Given this urgent need and the potential to save lives, we're returning to D.C. on April 5 for the second annual LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day. Our efforts are even more important in light of President Trump's FY 2018 budget proposal that calls for a $6 billion, or 18 percent, reduction of funding for NIH. Any reduction in funding will result in a setback for research. LUNG FORCE Heroes will speak directly to Congress about continuing to support increased research at the NIH so there can be better treatment options and methods of early detection for lung cancer. They will also emphasize importance of quality and affordable healthcare for people with or at risk for lung cancer.

LUNG FORCE Heroes will also share with Congress that quality, affordable healthcare coverage is more important than ever, as 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions could lose  access to care if pre-existing conditions are allowed to disqualify people from having healthcare.

Every year, lives are saved because of preventative services such as lung cancer screening for individuals at high-risk for lung cancer. Michelle S. is one of the LUNG FORCE Heroes joining us for Advocacy Day. She is passionate about early detection, and hopes that her efforts will support our work to defeat lung cancer. "I hope to use my story to help others with lung cancer, to use my voice to raise money for education, early detection and research dollars to unlock the mystery of lung cancer and contribute to the emerging hope of a cure."

The American Lung Association works tirelessly to change people's minds about what it means to have lung cancer to increase the public's knowledge about the prevalence and risk of getting lung cancer no longer goes unnoticed. We stand alongside LUNG FORCE Heroes as we raise our voices to help spur innovations in research that will lead to earlier detection and more personalized treatments, so that everyone has a fighting chance.

Heather J. finds strength in raising awareness of lung cancer. "Typically when a person is diagnosed, they are in the final stages," Heather said. "Join me in helping to erase the stigma of lung cancer, to increase lung cancer awareness and to advocate for funding for research. There is hope in research."

Your donations help benefit LUNG FORCE and the overall mission of the Lung Association. By supporting LUNG FORCE, you are helping us fight for all those affected by lung disease.

You can participate

Please follow our Advocacy Day page for more updates about our activities. You can also help – on April 5, visit and join us by contacting your senators and representative about the need to increase funding for research and make sure everyone has quality and affordable healthcare.

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