Lung cancer is one of the most common and devastating forms of cancer in the United States. Each year, more than 220,000 Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer, and another 146,000 die from complications related to the disease. Thankfully, researchers and cancer clinics like the START Center for Cancer Care are making promising advances every day in the battle against lung cancer, but the truth is, we need your help.
One of the most important and effective ways to support lung cancer research, care, and prevention efforts is to get involved and do your part to raise awareness in your community. November is officially recognized as Lung Cancer Awareness Month in the United States, and there are many opportunities for you to participate and make a real difference. Continue reading to learn more about how you can get involved:
Donate to Lung Cancer Awareness and Research Foundations
Making a financial donation to a lung cancer foundation is one of the simplest and most effective ways you can support lung cancer research and awareness. No matter how much you’re able to give, every little bit really does help. Consider supporting lung cancer foundations like:
If you’re unable to offer monetary support, there are plenty of other ways you can give. The gift of your time and effort is extremely valuable, so try thinking about ways you may be able to volunteer your time or promote awareness in your local area instead. If you can’t volunteer in person, consider joining or hosting a remote gathering like the ALA’s virtual Lung Cancer Patient Meetup.
Find Out How Lung Cancer Affects People in Your Home State
Have you ever wondered about how lung cancer affects the people in your community and home state? The American Lung Association released a new report earlier in 2020 called the State of Lung Cancer, which traced the top indicators of lung cancer in each area of the United States.
The resulting data, which is broken down by racial and ethnic groups, is a useful way to learn about the effects of lung cancer in your home state, as well as the communities most in need of your help. For example, here in Texas, lung cancer rates are significantly lower than national averages among White, Latinx, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous communities, and roughly the same as the national average for Black Americans.
Promote Lung Cancer Awareness Month on Social Media
If you aren’t able to donate financial resources or volunteer your time, you can still make an important contribution to the fight against lung cancer by promoting Lung Cancer Awareness Month on your social media pages. Consider adding one of Lung Force’s Lung Cancer Awareness Facebook Frames to your profile picture and following or sharing some of the hashtags listed below to connect with others in a worldwide discussion:
Call Your Local Representatives
Contacting your elected officials in Congress and your local legislative offices can make a big impact right in your own community. You can share awareness information with your representatives and ask them to support legislative efforts to fund more lung cancer research and prevent lung cancer-related fatalities. Your vote is also your voice, so consider researching and supporting candidates who are committed to lung cancer research and prevention in your next election.
Share Important Lung Cancer Information with Friends and Family
Prevention is just as important as awareness or treatment methods for lung cancer, so this Lung Cancer Awareness Month, you can make a big difference by simply informing your friends and family about lung cancer prevention facts like:
Do not smoke, or do your best to quit smoking if you have already begun. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in America, with nearly 90 percent of cases stemming from smoking-related causes.
Avoid secondhand smoke, which can increase a nonsmoker’s risk of developing lung cancer by as much as 30 percent. Keep in mind that it’s especially important to keep children away from secondhand smoke.
Test your home for radon, which is an invisible, odorless, and naturally-occurring gas. Scientists believe that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, causing an estimated 20,000 cases each year.
Get screened for lung cancer if you are part of a high-risk group. High-risk groups include those with a history of heavy smoking, current smokers, smokers who have quit within the past 15 years, and adults aged 55 to 80.
The LCFA has made it easy to share important awareness facts like those listed above by providing these free, downloadable infographics that you can share on social media.
Wear the Color White
The color of the awareness ribbon for Lung Cancer Awareness Month is typically white or pearl. To raise awareness, you can make or purchase your own ribbon, wear an awareness pin, or incorporate the color white into your ensembles this month some other way. Consider wearing a white shirt or pants, donning a set of pearls, adding white ribbons to your hair, or even using white polish on your fingernails to see what kinds of conversations you can start with friends and family.
Contact the START Center for Cancer Care for More Information
Lung Cancer Awareness Month is an important part of the fight against lung cancer, but the START Center for Cancer Care in San Antonio, TX understands that cancer is not an issue that goes away when November ends. We provide top-quality, individualized care to cancer patients and their families year-round, and we appreciate your interest in joining the movement to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around this deadly disease. To learn more about our efforts, join our communities on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or call our offices at (210) 593-5700.