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Message from LCA President and CEO to Kick-Off Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November 1, 2007

Dear Friends,

Today marks the start of Lung Cancer Awareness Month (LCAM).  Many will recognize this anniversary by organizing events or participating in activities to honor loved ones, elevate awareness and advocate for increased compassion and support for the most stigmatized and ignored of all cancers.

The “movement” is starting to have an impact. In only three years, with less than 1% of breast cancer’s advocacy army, public awareness about lung cancer is growing.  The media is starting to more accurately present lung cancer facts. The public is becoming more aware of the massive under funding of the disease, and that it is hitting more non-smokers and former smokers than current smokers.  First-ever legislation related to lung cancer is moving in Congress and state legislatures, and research has evolved to now offer early detection for those at elevated risk for lung cancer.    

Originally started as a one day event in November 1995 by LCA'S predecessor organization, the designation of November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month has gone worldwide, thanks to the Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC), of which LCA is a member.  This year’s plans include a new website and multi-lingual educational material.

During November, LCA will do its best to provide regular updates on activities and events underway across the country to help link willing hearts and hands and to provide suggestions on how to get involved.  Here are a few of our key initiatives:

  • LCA National Bus Tour:  Lung cancer survivor Gayle Zinda and her son, Adam, are traveling across the country in the LCA bus to promote awareness. Follow the route on our website!
  • LCA Release of 3rd Annual National Report Card on Lung Cancer along with LCA-GA 2nd Annual State Report on Lung Cancer and LCA-MA 1st Annual State Report on Lung Cancer:  These annual assessments measure progress on federal and state levels to reduce lung cancer’s high mortality.
  • LCA National Awareness Campaign:  Look for and listen to our “Faces in the Fight” campaign.  From Time Square’s Jumbotron to National Public Radio, LCA ads will be front and center.
  • Passage of House Resolution 335 (HRes335):  This resolution declares lung cancer a national public health priority and calls for a multi-agency coordinated plan of attack on lung cancer.  The Senate passed its companion measure unanimously earlier this year and now we are working to secure passage in the House of Representatives.   

Here is what you can do to build momentum:

  • Contact your local media and ask them to run this month our Public Service Announcements (PSA), which can be downloaded through our website. Media outlets are required to run a certain amount of PSAs so be sure to share your connection to the disease and explain the importance of getting out such an important public health message.
  • Go to physicians’ offices, local clinics, pharmacies and other community organizations and ask to display information about lung cancer.
  • LCA can provide materials for you to give them or can send materials directly to the sites. Just send us the mailing information and the name of the contact person.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or community bulletin sharing your story and explaining the need for increased research funding for early detection and treatment.

To quote Helen Keller:

“The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker”.

All of our efforts are turning the tide.  There is no stopping us now!

Sincerely,
Laurie
Laurie Fenton Ambrose
President and CEO
Lung Cancer Alliance