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Albuquerque Residents Join LUNG FORCE Walk to Support Lung Cancer Patients, Raise Funds for Lung Cancer Research

American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative aims to raise awareness about lifesaving lung cancer screening during Lung Cancer Awareness Month

(November 1, 2017) -

To kickoff Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November, the American Lung Association in New Mexico will host its fourth annual LUNG FORCE Walk to support lung cancer patients on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Hoffmantown. Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cause of cancer deaths, and this year 1,010 New Mexico residents will be diagnosed with the disease.

The LUNG FORCE Walk will feature interactive education areas, family games and activities and inspiring stories of hope. Walkers will also be raising funds for lung disease research, education and advocacy. Registration and activities began at 9 a.m.

“Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of women in America, but alarmingly few women see lung cancer as a threat to them personally,” said Terry Huertaz, executive director of the American Lung Association in New Mexico. “The reality is that anyone can get lung cancer, yet lung cancer has been in the shadows for decades. This simply must change. We invite everyone in the Albuquerque area to join us and rally with friends, neighbors and colleagues to raise our voices together against lung cancer.”

The LUNG FORCE Walk will honor and recognize some of Albuquerque’s LUNG FORCE Heroes, including Mikey Padillia, whose mother, Sharon Hafer, lives with lung cancer and depends on advancements in research and treatments. Padillia walks in honor of his mother and to bring awareness to lung cancer.

“It’s important for people to see this horrible disease as more than just stats and numbers,” Padilla said. “I walk to bring a face and name – my mother’s – to the forefront of the fight against cancer and to show people lung cancer can impact anyone.”

One reason why lung cancer is so deadly is because by the time you have symptoms, it may already have spread and become more difficult to treat. Lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan is a powerful tool to diagnose lung cancer in individuals who are at high risk at an early stage, when it is much more likely to be curable. An estimated 9 million Americans are considered at high risk for lung cancer, and if only half of those at high risk were screened, more than 15,000 could be saved. Despite the lifesaving potential of screening, 84 percent of those who qualify are unfamiliar with the low-dose CT scan, according to the American Lung Association’s 4th annual Lung Health Barometer.

To raise awareness about lung cancer screening, the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative has partnered with the Ad Council to launch the “Saved By The Scan” public awareness campaign – urging everyone to learn more about lung cancer screening.

For media interested in speaking with a medical expert about lung health or a LUNG FORCE Hero about the LUNG FORCE Walk – Albuquerque, contact Heather Mangan at the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7631.

For media interested in speaking with a medical expert about lung health, lung cancer and lung cancer screening, contact Heather Mangan at the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7631.

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