World Lung Cancer Day is every August 1st to bring attention and awareness to the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women, most cases being detected too late for effective treatment. According to oncimmune.com, World Lung Cancer Day was started in 2011 by Betsy Thompson, the founder of the Lung Cancer Survivors Foundation; the day was originally called Lung Cancer Survivor Day. The World Lung Cancer Day facebook page posted by Thompson says “WLCD [World Lung Cancer Day] is an initiative driven by the People of Lung Cancer, with no Political or Organizational affiliations or global boundaries;” it is a “stigma-free holiday,” an event to celebrate and support those affected by cancer and those who help.
World Lung Cancer Day has since become globally recognized from the grassroots effort of survivors, advocates, and medical and cancer organizations, who spread the word about lung cancer screenings for high-risk individuals, sharing useful and valuable information concerning risk-factors, prevention, and early detection, spawning numerous innovative lung cancer educational initiatives annually.
Here are lung cancer facts from thoracic.org you may be unaware of:
Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide
It is responsible for 1 in 5 cancer-related deaths
Although smoking is commonly associated with lung cancer, cigarettes are not the only cause or risk factor for the disease—according to thoracic.org, “passive exposure to tobacco smoke, biomass fuels, diesel exhaust, radon, asbestos and other environmental and workplace carcinogens” can all cause lung cancer, so it’s important to address and reduce these potential risk factors. As the World Lung Cancer Day page advocates, any person can get lung cancer, not just smokers.
The highest estimated rate of lung cancer is in Northern America and Northern Europe, and the lowest rate is in Western and Middle Africa
The European Respiratory Society notes that lung cancer claims more lives per year than breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer combined
And lung diseases, such as COPD, or family history of lung cancer can increase one’s risk for lung cancer
To participate in World Lung Cancer Day
Check local news—an organization may be sponsoring a lung cancer event in your area, such as a lung cancer walk or lung cancer conference.
LUNGevity regularly holds “breathe deep walks,” the United State’s largest network of local events sponsoring lung cancer awareness and fundraising
Wear a white ribbon pin to honor those affected by lung cancer. Update your social media photo to reflect your support by changing it to the World Lung Cancer Day logo
Use #WorldLungCancerDay on social media to spread lung cancer educational information
Share your story on the World Lung Cancer Survivors social media storybook page and connect with other lung cancer survivors or lung cancer helpers from around the world