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American Lung Association Celebrates National Women’s Lung Health Week, Raises Awareness of #1 Cancer Killer

New York City turns turquoise to raise critical awareness of lung cancer, nation’s number one cancer killer of women

(May 14, 2019) - NEW YORK

For more information please contact:

Jennifer Solomon
[email protected]
(516) 680-8927

The American Lung Association and its LUNG FORCE initiative is turning The Big Apple turquoise during National Women’s Lung Health Week (May 12-18) to raise awareness of the #1 cancer killer of women in the U.S. Landmarks and communities across the nation, including One World Trade Center and Bryant Park will be illuminated in turquoise, the signature color of LUNG FORCE. This year, LUNG FORCE is celebrating five years of lifesaving impact and uniting the nation to raise critical funds to support lung cancer research.

“This week we are turning One World Trade Center turquoise to raise awareness of the fact that anyone can get lung cancer, and no one deserves it,” said Carla Sterling, Executive Director for the American Lung Association in New York City. “We’re are proud to stand with those facing the disease and raise funds to support new treatments and better methods of early detection, so that we can save more lives.”

The American Lung Association will kick off National Women’s Lung Health Week (May 12-18) with the landmark illuminations and conclude the week with the Fifth Annual LUNG FORCE Walk in New York City.  The event is expected to be attended by 2,500 people and to raise over $315,000.  The 5k walk along the path of the East River Greenway to the southern tip of Manhattan and back will be held on Saturday May 18, 2018, from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Walk will kick off at Pier 16 of Manhattan's South Street Seaport by a welcome program, honoring local LUNG FORCE Heroes, survivors, advocates and families. Registration is now open.  

One of the reasons the disease is so deadly is because only 18 percent of lung cancer cases among women are diagnosed early, when the disease is most curable. Women can arm themselves against lung cancer with information on risk factors and who might be eligible for screening. The Lung Association encourages everyone to learn about lung cancer and talk to their doctor if they are concerned about their risk.

One World Trade Center illuminated turquoise

During National Women’s Lung Health Week, the Lung Association is highlighting the inspirational stories of LUNG FORCE Heroes, those whose lives have been impacted by lung cancer, including local Bronx resident Colette Smith. Colette is a lung cancer survivor and dedicated advocate and LUNG FORCE Hero.

“Before my diagnosis, lung cancer wasn’t even on my radar.  I never saw it coming – and that made it all much scarier,” Smith said. “Now, I show up to the walk every year to tell my story because I want people to know that you don’t have to smoke to get lung cancer. And I want people to know they can fight back.  A diagnosis of lung cancer is not the end of your life,” Smith said.  More on Colette’s story here.

 “We are thrilled to be celebrating National Women’s Lung Health Week and to recognize five full years of impact for LUNG FORCE, said Sterling. “Together, we have made important strides and rallied support for lung cancer education, awareness and research. We need additional help from the residents of New York City this May as we continue our efforts to defeat the disease.”

Facts about lung cancer:

  • Every five minutes, a woman in the U.S. is told that she has lung cancer.
  • The rate of women being diagnosed with the disease has increased 87 percent in the last 41 years, and since the mid-1970s, lung cancer deaths among women have increased.
  • Close to half of all women diagnosed with lung cancer will not even survive one year, and the five-year survival rate for women with lung cancer is only one in five.

During National Women’s Lung Health Week, the American Lung Association encourages everyone to get involved by wearing turquoise, turning their social media profiles turquoise and donating to research at

As LUNG FORCE’s national presenting sponsor, CVS Health is committed to raising funds and support for lung cancer education, awareness and research. LUNG FORCE is grateful to CVS Health for five years of support of our efforts to defeat lung cancer. From May 5-25, CVS Pharmacy customers can make a donation of $1 or more at the register to raise funds for lung cancer research.


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 coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:


LUNG FORCE is a new national movement led by the American Lung Association to unite women against lung cancer, the #1 cancer killer of women. LUNG FORCE has three priorities: 1) Make lung cancer a cause that people care about—and act on; 2) Educate and empower patients and healthcare providers and 3) Raise critical funds for lung cancer research. The American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE is nationally presented by CVS Health. Find out more at

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