CHICAGO, May 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- This May, the American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE initiative – nationally presented by CVS Health® – is highlighting the many faces of lung cancer. By sharing stories of LUNG FORCE Heroes – lung cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones – LUNG FORCE is inspiring communities to raise their voices in support of those facing lung cancer and for lung cancer research innovation that will lead to better methods of early detection and new treatment options. Coinciding with National Women's Lung Health Week (May 6-12), LUNG FORCE encourages people to raise awareness of lung cancer by wearing LUNG FORCE's signature color, turquoise, and turning their social media profiles turquoise. Through May 26, supporters can also visit their local CVS Pharmacy and donate to LUNG FORCE at the register to raise funds for lung cancer education, advocacy and research.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., yet awareness and understanding of this disease are critically low. Every two and a half minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with lung cancer, with an estimated 234,030 new cases in the U.S. this year. Anyone can get lung cancer and LUNG FORCE is sharing stories of LUNG FORCE Heroes to change perceptions of the disease, help others understand their risk and highlight why new methods of early detection are essential for saving lives.
"The American Lung Association is incredibly proud of our LUNG FORCE Heroes who continue to share their stories and stand with us in our work to defeat lung cancer," said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold Wimmer. "Today, lung cancer accounts for only about 4 percent of all cancer survivors. This needs to change. We know that lung cancer survival rates are five times higher when lung cancer is detected early, which is why we're continuing to work towards better methods of early detection, as well as new treatment options."
Since 2016, 13 new therapies have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat lung cancer – providing hope to those affected by the disease. Many women and men are not aware that there are several common risk factors for lung cancer. While smoking remains the leading cause of lung cancer, other risk factors include exposure to radon gas, secondhand smoke and air pollution. According to Wimmer, it's important for people to understand their risks for lung cancer and talk to their doctor if they have questions.
Actress and LUNG FORCE Hero Shantel VanSanten, star of USA Network's "Shooter" and CW Network's "One Tree Hill," got involved with LUNG FORCE after the untimely passing of her grandmother to lung cancer. "My grandmother was one of the most influential people in my life. She was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer which spread so quickly, and in less than seven months, she was taken from us," said VanSanten. "It wasn't until she was sick that I learned lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in America. Inspired by her determined spirit and all families affected by lung cancer, I am sharing my grandmother's story to raise awareness and fight the disease."
LUNG FORCE Heroes like VanSanten are sharing their stories during National Women's Lung Health Week on social media and LUNGFORCE.org to raise awareness about lung cancer and spark conversations about the disease.
"The American Lung Association is proud to stand alongside LUNG FORCE Heroes and our national partners to raise awareness about this disease and how it impacts lives," said Wimmer. "Together we are raising our collective voice in support of patients everywhere and driving the change necessary to save more lives."
CVS Health Supports Efforts To Defeat Lung Cancer
As the national presenting sponsor of LUNG FORCE, CVS Health is committed to defeating lung cancer by raising funds and support for lung cancer education, awareness and research:
- For the fifth year in a row, CVS Pharmacy® customers can visit any of its 7,900 stores May 6 – 26 to support LUNG FORCE by making a $1, $3 or larger donation at the register.
- CVS Pharmacy will also donate $1 to LUNG FORCE for every pack of Extra® Gum purchased at CVS Pharmacy locations and CVS.com (up to $100,000) May 6 – 26.
LUNG FORCE is proud to be part of CVS Health's Be The First, a 5-year, $50 million initiative funded through CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation to help deliver the nation's first tobacco-free generation. The best prevention for lung cancer is to never start smoking, but for the 37.8 million Americans that still smoke, quitting can be difficult. The best combination to stop smoking includes a quit smoking plan and medication, and during the campaign (May 6 – 26) customers can access:
- $5 off CVS Health nicotine replacement therapy, 14 count or more
- 30 percent off the American Lung Association's online quit smoking program Freedom From Smoking® Plus
Discounts are available at Lung.org/cvs, where visitors can also learn easy ways to create tobacco-free communities and sign up for Communities in Action to fight back against tobacco and beat lung cancer.
"CVS Health stands with LUNG FORCE and its Heroes to raise awareness of the leading cause of cancer deaths, and we're here to help Americans quit the leading behavior that raises their risk for the disease - smoking," said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health. "By creating tobacco-free communities, we are working to lower the incidence of lung cancer in future generations and bring us one step closer to the country's first tobacco-free generation."
For more information about LUNG FORCE, including local LUNG FORCE Walks taking place throughout May, visit LUNGFORCE.org. To schedule a media interview with a LUNG FORCE Hero or health expert, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected].
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
About LUNG FORCE
LUNG FORCE is a new national movement led by the American Lung Association to unite women against lung cancer, the #1 cancer killer of women. 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 lung cancer research. The American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE is nationally presented by CVS Health. Find out more at LUNGFORCE.org.
About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,800 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with approximately 94 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.
American Lung Association
SOURCE American Lung Association