November is the international month for lung cancer awareness. Some of the ways people show their support are by wearing a pearl ribbon, wristband, or key magnet chain. The official ribbon color for lung cancer is pearl. Lung Cancer Alliance (LCM) is the only national non-profit organization dedicated solely to providing patient support and advocacy for people living with or at risk for the disease. Their mission is to win the war against the dreaded disease.
The group has launched an aggressive membership campaign including an educational and information campaign for susceptible people to undergo cancer screening by means of CT scan. A CT scanner can detect early lung disorders and symptoms of cancer which can make it curable. The scanner can take x-ray images which are sliced and reformat in 3-D to visualize the size and shape of lung nodules. This capability can reduce lung cancer fatalities through early detection. Most types of lung cancers are detected during incurable late stages.
The national campaign to increase lung cancer syndrome awareness in the United States is the Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Supporters organize rallies and distribute educational materials. They hold fund-raising events, lobby for a bill for LCAM to be passed in Congress, write press release letters to different newspaper editors, and ask the media for an interview for the public to know more about this leading killer disease. Lung cancer has been responsible for deaths more than prostate, colon and breast cancers combined.
In your area, you can support this campaign in many ways. You can organize an auction or flea market event to encourage people to help raise funds for lung cancer research. Participants pay entrance tickets and buy pearl ribbons. Some hold fun runs like the “Race for Breath” in VA Beach, VA. You can make your voice heard by the media. Many supporters distribute educational pamphlets and LCAM’s Public Service Announcement to local media. LCAM has a sample proclamation letter for lung cancer support which you can send to your governor.
One group, the Kozer-Keystone Health System has a range of awareness activities to render health education about lung cancer prevention and treatment. They arrange educational programs by setting up informational tables in many hospitals and alternate places. Free spirometry screenings and lectures are conducted by pulmonologist and oncology experts like Dr. Thomas Prestel, M.D. Chief of Pulmonology at Delaware Country Memorial Hospital, Dr. Rajesh Thirumaran, DCMD medical oncologist, Dr. Daniel DuPont, Taylor Hospital’s chief of Pulmonary Medicine, Dr. Asad Khan, Crozer-Chester Medical Center’s pulmonologist, Dr. John Lamond, Dr. Leonard Berkowitz, Dr. John Sprandio, medical director of Delaware County Regional Cancer Center,Dr. Walter Scott, chief of Thoracic Surgery at Fox Chase Cancer, etc. Employees of Kozer-Keystone are also encouraged to support these activities by their active participation.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths next to smoking is radon exposure. Each year, it claims 20,000 American lives. The public is encouraged to learn more about the risk from radon. You can’t see, smell, or taste it. Unless you conduct a radon level test in your home, you will not be able to detect it.
In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the Radon Video Contest, a public radon awareness campaign for the submission of a 30-60 second video with the theme “Radon: Test, Fix, Save a Life”. The winning video entry featured the true story of lung cancer survivor Eddie Metcalfe. EPA is now promoting “The Eddie’s Story” Radon Public Service Announcements (PSAs) all over the country to highlight the dangerous health risk radon. Now, they are sponsoring media campaigns like Living Healthy and Green featuring a former professional football player, Fuad Reveiz who builds radon resistant homes and EPA’s annual radon poster contest.
To learn more about radon, you should read “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon” and visit the websites of the EPA, WHO, National Cancer Institute, American Lung Association, Radon Mitigation System, U.S. Surgeon General, etc. You should also take steps to do your part in encouraging your community to conduct lung cancer awareness activities including radon level testing of homes, schools and buildings in your community. Radon level testing is done by testing kits which are affordable and easy to use. If a high radon level is detected, the problem can be remedied immediately to protect yourself and your family.