CHICAGO | May 11, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of the importance of lung health, especially for those with lung diseases. For many with lung cancer, the burden has become more acute, with the pandemic adding more challenges, such as increased risk of complications from COVID-19 and changes or delays in treatment. The pandemic also temporarily delayed access to lung cancer screening for many people at high risk. Among diverse communities who have been hardest hit by COVID-19, these difficulties may be even worse. The American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative’s annual Turquoise Takeover celebration, from May 9 through May 15, unites America to raise critical awareness of lung cancer, the nation’s #1 cancer killer.
Every year, LUNG FORCE celebrates Turquoise Takeover by turning landmarks and buildings across our nation turquoise - LUNG FORCE’s signature color - to increase education and provide hope for those living with lung cancer. Everyone is encouraged to get involved, from May 9 through May 15, by wearing turquoise and showing their spirit by posting a selfie on their social media channels, as a symbol of hope for those living with lung disease.
Lending her support this year is Laura Dern, actress and Advisor to the American Lung Association Board of Directors. Dern will kick off the 2021 Nationwide LUNG FORCE Walk and Run/Walk season and is hosting a team of her own to help raise funds for lifesaving lung cancer education, advocacy and research. Laura Dern has been a partner and friend to the American Lung Association since 2015 through our LUNG FORCE initiative. In 2020, she joined us to raise awareness about lung health through our COVID-19 Action Initiative and has continued her commitment to our mission as an Advisor to our national board of directors.
“During this most challenging time for lung cancer patients, it’s especially important that they feel a sense of hope and know that they can find the support they need,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “That’s why the Lung Association is taking action to support these lung cancer patients and caregivers with resources like our Lung HelpLine, online support community and one-on-one mentorship program, while continuing to raise awareness and the funds needed to defeat the disease.”
LUNG FORCE is also hosting a free Lung Cancer Patient Virtual Meetup for patients and caregivers on May 11. Those interested can register at Lung.org/patient-meetup.
While lung cancer remains the #1 cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., the survival rate has increased by a dramatic 13% over the past 5 years and awareness of this deadly disease has steadily increased. This encouraging trend will be further aided by improved early detection of the disease through lung cancer screening. The Lung Association’s “Saved By the Scan” initiative has helped more than 600,000 people find out if they are eligible for early screening. Additionally, advancements in research have resulted in more than 30 new lung cancer treatments approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2016.
“Despite encouraging improvements in the overall lung cancer survival rate, people of color who are diagnosed with lung cancer face worse outcomes compared to white Americans. They are also less likely to be diagnosed early, less likely to receive surgical treatment, and more likely to not receive any treatment. The Lung Association is committed to addressing these disparities so that everyone can benefit from recent advancements in lung cancer early diagnosis and treatments,” said Wimmer.
Those who want to help raise funds and defeat lung cancer can visit LUNGFORCE.org to learn how to get involved.
For media interested in scheduling an interview with a lung cancer expert, contact Allison MacMunn at 312-801-7628 or [email protected]
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. 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.org.
LUNG FORCE is a national movement led by the American Lung Association to unite our nation in our efforts to defeat lung cancer, the #1 cancer killer of women and men. 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 groundbreaking lung cancer research. The American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE is nationally presented by CVS Health. Find out more at LUNGFORCE.org.
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