American Lung Association in Florida reveals new data; Highlights local activities for Lung Cancer Awareness Month
By JANELLE HOM
Survey data recently released show that only 36 percent of people know that lung cancer screening is available, and 29 percent know that lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of women and men. The American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative released the 2021 Lung Health Barometer and highlights local activities in Florida for Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Here in Florida and across the nation, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer. It is estimated that in 2021, 18,470 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 10,940 will die from the disease. However, there is hope. The five-year survival rate has increased 33 percent in the past 10 years thanks to advancements in treatment, research and lifesaving lung cancer screening.
The 2021 Lung Health Barometer surveyed 4,000 Americans nationwide about lung health and lung cancer. Some key findings show that:
- 29 percent of Americans know that lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of women and men, which is an 8 percent increase from the 2020 Lung Health Barometer.
- Although lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of women and men, only 10 percent of adults understand that lung cancer is among the most likely cancers to affect women while 35 percent know that it was among those likely to affect men.
- Only 36 percent of respondents know that lung cancer screening is now available for early detection of the disease.
During my time at the American Lung Association, the need for more attention toward lung cancer was evident from day one. My story started as an intern back in 2008 planning the organization’s Fight For Air Climb event. One of the first calls I made to a participant shook me to the core. A young woman had lost her husband to lung cancer at the age of 36, only after finding out the cancer had spread to his heart. His time from diagnosis to passing was 6 weeks. Over the past nearly 14 years, I have heard story after story of how this terrible disease has impacted the lives of people in Central Florida.
It has been incredible to see the advancements that have been made over the past decade when it comes to early detection of lung cancer and improved treatment options. With that being said, we still have a long journey ahead to defeat lung cancer. We need the people of Central Florida to know and advocate for their lung health and screening for lung cancer.
Throughout Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the Lung Association will be sharing new resources, the State of Lung Cancer Report (November 16), inspiring patient stories and lifesaving lung cancer screening information. Here in Central Florida the organization has several activations planned to increase awareness and raise funds around the LUNG FORCE initiative.
There are also several events happening locally for Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
- Colonial TownPark in Lake Mary will run a Turquoise Takeover campaign from November 12 through 21. Participating retailers are creating unique activations LUNG FORCE with turquoise drinks, give backs, and other specials. Any donations made toward the campaign provide entry into the Tour of Colonial TownPark gift basket drawing on November 22, containing $500 of merchandise and gift cards from participating businesses.
- On November 10, the Central Florida office will host Lip Sync for Lungs Battle IV where local celebrities will lip sync for the title of battle champion. Celebrities include Heather Hurry, Marketing Director of Pillar to Post, Dr. Rick Ramnath and the NSI Alveoli of Neuroskeletal Imaging, renowned drag performer Lacie Browning, and the Young Lawyers Division of the Orange County Bar Association. Celebrity judges include Steve Gunter from the Taproom at Dubsdread, Chelsea Whalley of J Donovan Financial, and Jordan Ostroff of Jordan Law. Tickets and donation options are available at lipsyncforlungsorlando.org.
- Through the Lung Association’s Lung Cancer Patient Meetup on the Go program, the organization is offering several webinars and plans to share recordings of the webinars in November. Locally, AdventHealth’s Dr. Mark Socinski of the Cancer Institute will be a featured speaker for the On The Go program. Learn more at lung.org/patient-meetup.
This is the sixth year of the Lung Health Barometer, which is conducted by the Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative. LUNG FORCE unites the nation to stand together for lung health and against lung cancer.
Janelle Hom, is Executive Director, American Lung Association in Florida.