As part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative has launched a new “Lock Up Lung Cancer” campaign to bring attention to the fact that lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related death among women. In partnership with CVS Health, the association is using the popularity of true crime shows to increase awareness of lung cancer as serious health concern.
“Since 2014, LUNG FORCE has been working to raise awareness of lung cancer, new treatment options and better methods of early detection, but we need everyone’s help to stop this leading cancer killer,” said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer. “Lung cancer is an issue that has been in the shadows for too long. We hope that by exposing the dangers of this disease, Americans will feel empowered to join LUNG FORCE and help us to defeat lung cancer. Because the truth is, anyone can get lung cancer.”
According to the American Lung Association, the death rate for women with lung cancer has increased nearly 80 percent since the 1970s. Despite its prevalence among American women, just three percent of them say that it’s a health concern for them.
Still, there are some shocking statistics that surround the incidence of lung cancer in the US. The disease will claim the lives of 70,000 women this year, a number which could be dramatically reduced if more cases were diagnosed early on. Currently, just 18 percent of women with lung cancer receive an early diagnosis and are able to benefit from early treatment options and other interventions.
Because women make up a large portion of the viewing audience for true crime programming, the Lock Up Lung Cancer video series will be featured on popular online streaming networks including Lifetime, TNT, A&E and ID. The videos – which feature real lung cancer survivors – will also be made available on LUNGFORCE.org.
Taking advantage of the popularity of true crime podcasts – like My Favorite Murder, Criminal and Crime Junkie – the LUNG FORCE imitative will also spread their message of lung cancer awareness for women through this medium. Their goal with this campaign is “to make people think about lung cancer in a new way” and prompt women to take action now to reduce their risk of developing lung cancer.
However, lung cancer isn’t just a health problem for women in the US. Lung cancer kills an estimated 21,000 Canadian men and women each year, which is why Lung Cancer Canada is promoting the development of screening programs in the country this Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
“Screening saves lives and the positive cascade when a patient is diagnosed early is tremendous. Just think of what this means for the individual, their family, and not to mention the benefit to the health system and society overall,” said Dr. Paul Wheatley-Price, President of Lung Cancer Canada. “With so much progress being made in the treatment landscape, by placing our attention on achieving a national screening program for high-risk Canadians, we will really see a dramatic change in outcomes – this is what patients deserve. Lung cancer screening is the way in which we will stop inching forwards in improving lung cancer survival, this will be a giant leap not seen before with this most deadly of diseases.”