American Lung Association LA Notes National Women's Lung Health Week

The American Lung Association and its LUNG FORCE initiative is turning Louisiana turquoise during National Women’s Lung Health Week (May 6-12) in support of those whose lives have been impacted by lung cancer. LUNG FORCE is uniting the nation to raise voices and make lung cancer—the leading cause of cancer deaths among women and men—a public health priority. Landmarks and communities across the nation will be illuminated in turquoise, the signature color of LUNG FORCE.

“Lung cancer has been in the shadows for far too long. When you think of cancers affecting women, most people don’t initially think of lung cancer, yet it’s the leading cancer killer of both women and men,” said American Lung Association Regional Director of Public Policy Ashley Lyerly. “We’re raising awareness about lung cancer through LUNG FORCE and during National Women’s Lung Health Week, and are proud to stand with those facing the disease.”

In Louisiana, an estimated 3,660 women and men will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year alone. Yet according to the Lung Health Barometer, only three percent of women consider lung cancer a top-of-mind health concern. The American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative – nationally presented by CVS Health – is seeking to change this.

During National Women’s Lung Health Week, the Lung Association is highlighting the experiences of LUNG FORCE Heroes, those whose lives have been impacted by lung cancer, including local Luling resident Ellen Siedel.

“After my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer, she sat me and my sister down and told us she wanted to fight —so we all did,” said Siedel. “My sister and I rallied behind her and helped advocate for her care. It changed the way we looked at everything. After we lost my mom, I made it a personal mission to do what I can to make sure no other family has to experience this loss.”

Some facts about lung cancer include:

-Lung cancer accounts for only four percent of all American cancer survivors.

-An estimated 234,030 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year.

-Risk factors include smoking as well as exposure to radon gas, secondhand smoke, and air pollution. Genetic factors can play a role and sometimes the cause of lung cancer is not known.

-Early detection and treatment of lung cancer translates to higher survival rates, however only 18 percent of lung cancer cases among women are diagnosed early, when the disease is more curable.

During National Women’s Lung Health Week, the American Lung Association encourages everyone to get involved by wearing turquoise, turning their social media profiles turquoise, and donating at LUNGFORCE.org.

From May 6 - 26, CVS Pharmacy customers can make a donation of $1, $3, or more at the register to raise funds for lung cancer awareness, research, and education. The in-store fundraising campaign is part of Be The First, a five-year $50 million initiative funded through CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation to help deliver the nation's first tobacco-free generation. Customers can also visit Lung.org/cvs for easy ways to help their communities become tobacco-free and access discounts on quit smoking resources. In addition, CVS Pharmacy will donate $1 for every pack of Extra Gum that is purchased—up to $100,000—to the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE.