The American Lung Association in Tennessee recently joined forces with Lung Associations across the country and national presenting sponsor, CVS Caremark, to launch Lung Force, a new initiative to make lung cancer in women a public health priority, drive policy change and increase research funding.
Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer of women, killing almost twice as many women as any other cancer. In fact, statistics show that fewer than half of all women diagnosed with lung cancer survive one year after diagnosis.
The fact is that anyone can get lung cancer - including women who don’t currently smoke or who have successfully quit smoking. Yet, according to new research from the American Lung Association’s Women’s Lung Health Barometer, only 1 percent of women identify lung cancer as a cancer that is top-of-mind for them.
“The startling statistics uncovered through the Barometer point to a lack of awareness and sense of urgency among women and underscores the need to change our thinking about this disease,” said Barry Gottschalk, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Midland States – which serves Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan. “Women need to know the facts about lung cancer, to raise their voices and to rally their friends and family members to make lung cancer a public health priority. That is why today we are launching Lung Force, a new national movement to rally and unite women in the fight against lung cancer and for lung health.”
As part of the recent launch, the American Lung Association in Tennessee mobilized a Turquoise Takeover for Nashville. Various public structures were bathed in turquoise light to draw attention to this important issue. The special lighting continued for a week.
Those structures were the Parthenon, the State Capital cupola, the Pyramid at Adventure Science Center and Amerigo Italian Restaurant. The Amerigo wait staff (dressed in turquoise for Lung Force) also served American Lung Association signature Turquoise Stiletto cocktails with 10 percent of the proceeds going to the American Lung Association.
Through locally-based and nationwide efforts, Lung Force will educate and empower patients and healthcare providers, focus public policy on addressing the disease and its causes, and raise critical funds for research into better detection and targeted treatments for lung cancer.
Dr. Pierre Massion, Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and a member of the national American Lung Association Lung Cancer Advisory Board had this to say about lung cancer:
“Most people are not aware that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women. In fact, almost twice as many women die of lung cancer as compared to breast cancer. Among those diagnosed with lung cancer the majority have either never smoked or quit smoking years ago. The American Lung Association wants to tackle that reality and render women aware that the lung cancer epidemic is best managed by prevention (to prevent taking up smoking and to encourage smoking cessation), early detection (screening high risk individuals with low dose Chest CT saves lives) and early treatment (surgery or other modalities). These all have a profound impact on survival, quality of life and cancer related deaths. The ALA’s effort to bring this large Lung Force movement forward is expected to have tremendous repercussions on individuals at risk, their families, health care systems and society at large. So ‘What is your Lung Health Barometer?’ How can you engage with policymakers? Join the ALA Lung Force.”
Local residents can learn more about LUNG FORCE by registering for and participating in the upcoming Fight for Air Walk, scheduled for 8:30 am this Saturday at Nashville’s Public Square Park to help raise funds for the important work LUNG FORCE and the American Lung Association are doing in Tennessee and nationwide. Visit www.middletnwalk.org to learn more.