GLENVIEW, Ill., July 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of World Lung Cancer Day on August 1, American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), alongside members of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), today launched its World Lung Cancer Day 2015: Honor, Unite, Inspire campaign. The global campaign aims to raise awareness about lung cancer, its global impact and create an educational movement of understanding lung cancer risks, as well as early treatment across the world.
According to the World Health Organization, lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, accounting for 1.8 million new cases in 2012, and is responsible for nearly one in five cancer deaths. In fact, it claims more lives yearly than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.
"As early intervention improves lung cancer survival, we urge people to understand their risk factors, reduce them where possible and encourage patients to have open dialogue with their health care providers," said Curtis N. Sessler, MD, FCCP and President, the American College of Chest Physicians.
World Lung Cancer Day 2015: Honor, Unite, Inspire highlights the many risk factors to be aware of in order to detect lung cancer at the earliest stage possible. While most understand that smoking is the single greatest risk factor for lung cancer, other lesser known risk factors include environment and genetics. Environmental exposure to radon, asbestos, arsenic, beryllium and uranium have all been linked to lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer also increases with a history of cancer in another part of the body, age, family history, radiation to the chest area and lung diseases like COPD.
The initiative also aims to shed light on key symptoms and screening options. Symptoms include change in mucus, chest or back pain, coughing up blood and difficulty swallowing. Tests that may be used to diagnose lung cancer include chest X-rays, CT and PET scans, bronchoscopy, and needle biopsies. If you are a current or former smoker and over age 55, you may be a candidate for a low-dose CT scan screening that can offer early detection of lung cancer, potentially at its earliest stages.
"Treatment options for lung cancer have significantly advanced over the last few years and survival rates are increasing. We're hopeful this international campaign will encourage people to gain awareness of their risks and increase early detection for the best possible outcomes," said Dr. Nils E. Billo, Director of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies.
More than 70,000 global FIRS members have united for World Lung Cancer Day 2015: Honor, Unite, Inspire, including member organizations: the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), Asociacion Latinoamericana del Thorax (ALAT), the American Thoracic Society (ATS), the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR), the European Respiratory Society (ERS), the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and the Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS).
Patients, families and caregivers can download free educational resources and learn more about lung cancer, risk factors, screenings and treatment options by visiting chestnet.org/WLCD.
CHEST is the global leader in advancing best patient outcomes through innovative chest medicine education, clinical research, and team-based care. Its mission is to champion the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication and research. CHEST serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 18,700 members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. For more information about CHEST, visit chestnet.org.
About the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS)
The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is an organization comprised of the world's leading international respiratory societies working together to improve lung health globally: American Thoracic Society (ATS), American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), Asociacion Latinoamericana De Torax (ALAT), Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR), European Respiratory Society (ERS), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union) and the Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS). The goal of FIRS is to unify and enhance efforts to improve lung health through the combined work of its more than 70,000 members globally.
SOURCE American College of Chest Physicians