Sunday, August 1st marks the 9th annual World Lung Cancer Day. The goal of this initiative is to promote global awareness and the ways you can get involved in the battle against lung cancer. Learn more about lung cancer causes, prevention, and advocacy efforts below.
What Is World Lung Cancer Day 2021?
Conceived in 2012, World Lung Cancer Day serves as a way to raise awareness for lung cancer — both to support people diagnosed with the disease and to advocate for prevention and further research.
Before the 20th century, lung cancer was a rare disease. The advent of industrialization brought a massive increase in exposure to cancerous materials for blue-collar workers and their families. In turn, scientists did not begin studying causes and effects of lung cancer until the 1950s.
While decades of research have contributed greatly to our understanding, we must continue to raise awareness..
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), lung cancer causes 1 in 5 cancer deaths in the U.S. The ACS found that in 2019 alone, 142,670 Americans died of lung cancer.
This year’s global event is sponsored by the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE, which backs research for both treatment and cures and unites individuals in their awareness of the disease. The ACS and the European Respiratory Society (ERS) are just two of the national and international organizations that have joined LUNG FORCE in recognizing this day of awareness.
Goals of World Lung Cancer Day
The mission of World Lung Cancer Day is to increase awareness of the causes of various lung cancers, including asbestos-caused lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma.
This important day provides an opportunity to educate consumers about carcinogenic products, including asbestos-containing materials that may lead to lung cancer or mesothelioma. World Lung Cancer Day also facilitates connections between patients and treatment methods, as well as research to find a cure.
Organizations like ERS and ACS illuminate the causes of lung cancers, their symptoms, and various screening options available to patients.
According to the American Lung Association (ALA), a low-dose CT scan can dramatically improve lung cancer survival rates for those who are at high risk, which highlights the civic importance of spreading awareness.
How To Support World Lung Cancer Day
It takes a village to combat such a pervasive disease and everyone has their part to play. Even if you or a loved one is not a patient, you can get involved in this global initiative. LUNG FORCE outlines several ways to participate.
Here’s how you can help:
- Understand your personal risk factors. It is estimated that about 25,000 lives could be saved if the 8 million Americans at high risk for lung cancer were screened.
- Avoid cancer-causing substances such as tobacco and asbestos. It is important to remember that asbestos-caused lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma can result from any amount of asbestos exposure.
- Advocate for cancer research by contacting your elected officials, who can make a difference in funding at the legislative level.
You can also share your own story with the community, whether the disease has affected you or a loved one. Other ways you can drive change include engaging and educating others through social media, donating to research organizations, and volunteering at your local cancer center.
Adding your voice to the fight against lung cancer is a meaningful way to contribute to the efforts surrounding World Lung Cancer Day. Your support provides hope to current patients and their loved ones. With your support and advocacy, you can help transform our world into one that is cancer-free.