Official Month Underscores Impact of Lung Cancer, Highlights Urgent Need to Fund Advanced Research as Hope Is on the Horizon
CHICAGO, Nov. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This November, LUNGevity Foundation, with the largest research awards program of any lung cancer–focused organization in the U.S., recognizes Lung Cancer Awareness Month as a critical time on our national calendar for addressing the impact of lung cancer in the U.S. and around the world.
Lung cancer will strike 1 in 14 Americans in their lifetime, and more than 60% of those diagnosed today are nonsmokers or former smokers. It is the leading cause of cancer death, killing more people than breast, colon, pancreatic, and prostate cancers combined. Lung Cancer Awareness Month, which began as Lung Cancer Awareness Day in 1995, became an official designation as awareness initiatives in the movement grew. The annual month-long observance reflects the significant need for research funding and awareness in order to reduce lung cancer mortality.
"Expanding awareness around lung cancer, and the importance of research, is critical," said Andrea Ferris, President and Chairman of LUNGevity Foundation. "The grim statistics—228,000 people will be diagnosed this year alone in the U.S., and only 16% of those diagnosed are expected to survive 5 years or more—are the result of long ignoring and underfunding research about this disease. Yet, with a renewed commitment to innovative research, hope for the future is very bright. We have already made encouraging strides; five years ago, we could not have anticipated the enormous potential we see ahead in applying scientific learnings to finding the disease earlier and treating it more effectively. Through this official month of dialogue, we can continue to grow our community of support and fuel the efforts to revolutionize how we detect and treat lung cancer."
Since 2002, LUNGevity has funded projects representing more than $16 million spent on 100 research projects at 56 institutions in 23 states and has connected people to lung cancer survivorship through research, education, and support. Throughout the year, LUNGevity coordinates grassroots and large-scale initiatives with the goal of funding research in order to extend patients' lives and improve quality of life post-diagnosis. The research is specifically focused on expediting development of an effective early-detection strategy and identifying therapeutic agents that provide customized genetic intervention for lung cancer.
"With LUNGevity's commitment to research and its ability to select the best projects, there is tremendous momentum in the field of lung cancer research and plenty of reason for hope in transforming outcomes," said Dr. Pierre Massion, Chair of LUNGevity's Science Board. "From identifying biomarkers for the early detection of the disease, to tumor genomic changes for targeted therapies, we have the potential to make progress at unprecedented rates. Building more awareness of the findings and the promise of science in improving outcomes for this disease is an important first step."
LUNGevity will host a variety of educational, informational, and fundraising programs and events throughout November. Activities will include:
- A webinar to discuss current and evolving management issues in squamous cell carcinoma, "Squamous Cell NSCLC: Growing Understanding and Expanding Treatment Options" on November 12 at 2-3 pm Eastern, 11 am - noon Pacific. RSVP at www.LUNGevity.org/webinars.
- LUNGevity's longest-running event, the 2013 Fall Benefit on November 16 in Chicago, to raise funds for high-impact research, support, and education programs. The Fall Benefit was LUNGevity's inaugural event in 2000. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $3.2 million to fund the most promising lung cancer research in the world. For more information, visit www.LUNGevity.org/fallbenefit.
- Grassroots events throughout the national LUNGevity network to raise funds for lifesaving lung cancer research and create awareness about the disease. To find an event in your area, go to www.LUNGevity.org/events.
- The first Regional Hope Summit to unite survivors of lung cancer, November 8-9 at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. The summit provides an opportunity for participants to celebrate lung cancer survivorship and gives survivors the opportunity to learn, collaborate, and connect/share their stories with other lung cancer survivors. Register at www.lungevity.org/RegionalSummit.
For more information, please visit www.LUNGevity.org.
About Lung Cancer
- 1 in 14 Americans is diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime.
- About 60 percent of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers.
- Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, regardless of gender or ethnicity.
- Lung cancer kills almost twice as many women as breast cancer and more than three times as many men as prostate cancer.
- Only 16 percent of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, but if it's caught before it spreads, the chance for 5-year survival improves to 52 percent.
About LUNGevity Foundation
LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as by providing community, support, and education for all those affected by the disease. Our vision is a world where no one dies of lung cancer. For more information about LUNGevity Foundation, please visit www.LUNGevity.org.
SOURCE LUNGevity Foundation