The National Lung Cancer Partnership, with a mission to decrease deaths due to lung cancer and to help patients live longer and better through research, awareness and advocacy,” has once again declared November “Lung Cancer Awareness Month.” Since 2005 the organization has funded over $2 million in research for lung cancer projects, and with a fundraising push in November they hope to fund even more projects. Scientists searching for a cure for pleural mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer that is almost always caused by asbestos exposure, are beneficiaries of some of these research dollars.
Although ongoing research is being conducted to find new treatments and therapies for mesothelioma, keeping mesothelioma researchers funded is critical to the 3,000 Americans diagnosed with the disease each year. Mesothelioma is a rare pulmonary cancer that is highly aggressive and is resistant to many of the current cancer treatments. While there is no known cure for mesothelioma, new research and an increased knowledge among medical professionals has increased the survival time and improved the quality of life for many patients.
Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the United States. Research requires significant amounts of time and money, and without appropriate funding, it can be challenging to start and complete research projects.
Raising awareness of the various causes of lung cancer, with occupational hazards such as asbestos exposure being one risk, is the primary reason for setting aside a full month dedicated to education and fundraising opportunities specifically for lung cancer. According to Regina Vidaver, Ph.D., executive director of the National Lung Cancer Partnership, “If we’re going to catch it early, treat it and give people the best chance for survival, they need to know about lung cancer and its symptoms, take measures to reduce their risk and talk with their doctor about their health history.”
Early detection of mesothelioma can positively influence a patient’s survival by increasing treatment options and improving their quality of life while battling the cancer. Once the disease has reached an advanced stage average survival is often less than one year.
The Lung Cancer Partnership offers the “Free to Breathe” series of fitness events throughout the country as a way for individuals, families, and companies to show their support.
For a list of upcoming events see Free to Breathe.