GOOD MORNING DELMARVA - Residents of the Delmarva Peninsula are joining communities around the nation to recognize the deadly impact of lung cancer by declaring November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Lung cancer claims more lives in the United States each year than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. In Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia alone, 10,180 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and 7,520 people will pass away from the disease in 2013, according to the American Cancer Society.
Despite lung cancer's devastating toll, awareness of the disease and its risks and symptoms remains low. The amount of federal research funding pales in comparison to the amounts for other cancers. The National Lung Cancer Partnership is working with advocates, survivors and health care professionals from around the country to increase awareness and double the five-year lung cancer survival rate in the United States by 2022.
"It's sad that to this day, there is still a stigma attached to lung cancer that you have to be a smoker to get this disease," according to Brian Brubaker, Local Event Chair for Free to Breathe Delmarva. "Lung cancer can affect anyone who has lungs, non-smoker and smoker alike - even those who have already quit. Because of this stigma, many are afraid, or don't want to be the first, to start the conversation. When we encounter someone affected by lung cancer, we need to have open, compassionate conversations in order to spread the message of hope. With the help of the community, local government leaders, and members of the media, we can bring the awareness and raise the funds needed to help double the current survival rate of 16% in the next decade."
"Awareness Month shows how our incredible advocates and volunteers build the national movement to double lung cancer survival by taking local action in their communities. They're doing the important work of raising funds for lifesaving research, creating awareness of symptoms and helping patients get the information and support they need" said Dr. Regina Vidaver, Executive Director of the National Lung Cancer Partnership.
The National Lung Cancer Partnership, patients, advocates and public officials urge all citizens to be aware of the risks and symptoms of lung cancer.
For more information about these risks and symptoms, and how you can join the movement to double lung cancer survival by volunteering or contributing to this movement, visit www.FreeToBreathe.org or www.NationalLungCancerPartnership.org.