CHICAGO — During National Women’s Lung Health Week (May 12-18), the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative, nationally presented by CVS Health, is bringing women and their loved ones together to raise awareness of lung cancer, the No. 1 cancer killer of women in the U.S. LUNG FORCE has made major strides in the effort to drive awareness of the prevalence of lung cancer and raise the funds necessary to support research for new treatments and better methods of early detection.
Half a decade after its launch, LUNG FORCE is building on its efforts to defeat lung cancer and encouraging people everywhere to participate in its annual Turquoise Takeover during National Women’s Lung Health Week. Supporters can stand in solidarity against lung cancer by wearing turquoise, LUNG FORCE’s signature color, and by turning their social media profiles turquoise. Now through May 25, consumers can also visit any CVS Pharmacy location to donate $1or more to LUNG FORCE to fund lifesaving research and help defeat lung cancer.
The need for lung cancer research is critical. Among women in the U.S., lung cancer is on the rise. The rate of women being diagnosed with the disease has increased 87% in the last 41 years, and since the mid-1970s, lung cancer deaths among women have been increasing. In fact, it’s estimated that lung cancer will represent close to 1 in 4 female cancer deaths this year.
Over the past five years, LUNG FORCE has taken major strides in the fight to defeat lung cancer, including:
- Increased the American Lung Association’s annual investment in lung cancer research by over 200%
- Successfully advocated for Medicare coverage of lung cancer screening for 8 million high-risk adults
- Helped to secure a 69% increase in National Institutes of Health lung cancer research funding
- Advocated successfully to increase the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21 in 12 states and the District of Columbia
- Encouraged more than 245,000 Americans to take the “Saved By The Scan” screening eligibility quiz, with 42% of former smokers now aware of the low-dose CT scan
Despite this, awareness of lung cancer remains low overall, with only 3% of women considering it a top-of-mind health concern.
“We are extraordinarily proud of all that LUNG FORCE has accomplished in the effort to defeat lung cancer in just five years,” said Harold Wimmer, American Lung Association president and chief executive officer. “To save more lives, it is critical that we expand on this work and continue to come together to support research funding for better treatment options and methods of early detection.”
In addition to smoking, exposure to air pollution, radon gas, asbestos and secondhand smoke are also known causes of lung cancer. To address all risk factors associated with lung cancer, the Lung Association is investing in research and pushing for more research funding during National Women’s Lung Health Week.