Spotlight on: LUNGevity – The Meaning of Lung Cancer Awareness Month

People who aren’t directly impacted by lung cancer may not know that November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

What exactly does that mean and what can people do during November to raise awareness about lung cancer?

Lung Cancer Awareness Month (LCAM) is a national movement originally created by lung cancer organizations, survivors and advocates to dispel the stigmas associated with having lung cancer and to raise awareness of the disparities in lung cancer research during the month of November. This is done in most part by making the general public aware of the lung cancer survival rates and lack of funding for research, and putting a face to the disease.

Most people don’t know that 1 in 15 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer and that over 60% of people who are diagnosed are never smokers or people who quit smoking decades ago. It’s the deadliest cancer killer, killing twice as many women as breast cancer and three times as many men as prostate cancer.

As VP of Support and Survivorship for LUNGevity, I support and get to know a lot of lung cancer fighters. I have supported a patient as young as 16 with stage 4 lung cancer. It can happen to anyone with lungs. LCAM is about sharing the facts about the disease and need for funding, informing the public and talking to media,; it’s about offering resources to patients and providers and highlighting advocacy opportunities to change the public’s perception and outcomes for patients.

LCAM It’s not about smoking cessation or tobacco control. Some people mistake LCAM for an opportunity to talk about the hazards of tobacco and promote smoking cessation. That’s something that we should encourage people to do all year long. But that’s not lung cancer awareness. That would be lung cancer prevention, and only then it would pertain to just 10% of smokers.

Join LUNGevity, survivors and advocates across the nation as we unite to shine a spotlight on lung cancer this month.

Here are some ways you can help make a difference this month:

  • Tell someone that November is lung cancer awareness month.
  • Take a picture with a fact sign or your LUNGevity ‘Bandy’ wristband and let’s make it viral.
  • Share the facts about this disease and let people know that if they breathe, they can get lung cancer too.
  • Distribute materials in and around your area to hospitals and support organizations
  • Share our articles, blogs and videos over social media.
  • Let people know about LUNGevity’s comprehensive lung cancer 101 website
  • Let people impacted my lung cancer know about LUNGevity programs and services
  • Participate in Twitter Chats
  • Create a new event or volunteer or participate in events in your area
  • Volunteer to be a buddy for a patient or caregiver
  • Become a volunteer Social Media Ambassador

Let’s raise awareness this November in honor of the 435 people who die of lung cancer each and every day and the 220,000 people in America who are living with it.