Lung Cancer: Not What You Think

The American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE and Cancer Treatment Centers of America are collaborating on a bold campaign to raise awareness around the #1 cancer killer

Every two and half minutes, someone in the United States is told that they have lung cancer, and every single day 400 people lose their lives to this devastating disease. These startling facts are unknown to many people, making lung cancer a "silent killer." The American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE initiative and Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) are partnering during November's Lung Cancer Awareness Month to rally support and action to combat this deadly disease.

Some of the facts highlighted in this campaign include:

  • Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cause of cancer deaths.
  • In the last 41 years, lung cancer incidence has increased 87 percent among women.
  • The five-year survival rate is only 18.6 percent for lung cancer.
  • 48 percent of women diagnosed with lung cancer will not survive one year after diagnosis, as lung cancer is most often diagnosed at later stages when the disease is less curable.
  • If lung cancer is caught before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving five years or more improves to 56 percent.
  • While smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, exposure to radon gas, air pollution, asbestos and secondhand smoke are also known causes of lung cancer.
  • Early detection of lung cancer through lung cancer screening and more treatment options for those diagnosed translates to higher survival rates.
  • If everyone considered at high risk for lung cancer were screened, about 25,000 lives would be saved.

"There's no sugar coating the fact that lung cancer kills more Americans each year than any other cancer," said Dr. Patricia Rich, Medical Oncology Director, CTCA Lung Cancer Institute and Vice Chief of Staff, CTCA Atlanta. "We are thrilled to collaborate with the American Lung Association on this critical awareness campaign. But most importantly, we need to turn awareness into action, which means more people sharing the LUNG FORCE message and more support for much-needed research in this area."

Not What You Think, an interactive social media and awareness campaign, will inspire people to take action and get involved in the American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE, an initiative that unites individuals impacted by lung cancer to raise awareness and funds for lung cancer research, health education and support for patients, caregivers and health care providers. At, those at high risk for lung cancer can learn about screening options; patients and caregivers can access resources and support; survivors can share their inspiring stories and connect with others and supporters can sign up for LUNG FORCE Walks and donate to the cause.

"We need more voices joining the cause to advocate for lung cancer patients, their family and friends," said American Lung Association Chief Mission Officer Deb Brown. "By letting the facts speak for themselves, we are allowing these shocking, in-your-face lung cancer statistics be the motivation for individuals to take action now."

Media interested in more information about the Not What You Think awareness campaign and what LUNG FORCE is doing to combat these startling lung cancer statistics should contact Allison MacMunn at the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.

For more information, contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]

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