Posted on July 30, 2019

August 1st marks the 8th annual World Lung Cancer Day (WLCD) to honor, commemorate, and support the people affected by lung cancer.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is responsible for nearly one in six deaths globally. Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, claiming more lives yearly than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. It accounted for 2.09 million new cases in 2018.

Each year, an estimated 34,000 Americans die from preventable asbestos-caused lung cancer, yet imports and use continue. ADAO’s research reveals that an estimated 23% of lung cancer deaths may be caused from asbestos exposure.  

According to the American Cancer Society, the top three 2019 lung cancer facts are: 

  • Lung cancer also remains the leading cancer killer for both men and women
  • About 228,150 new cases of lung cancer (116,440 in men and 111,710 in women)
  • About 142,670 deaths from lung cancer (76,650 in men and 66,020 in women)
  • About 13% of all new cancers are lung cancers

Although promising research continues, prevention remains the only cure.

Methods to improve detection and treatment are outlined below.

  • More research dollars. Even though lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, only an estimated $415 million, which is approximately two percent of the 2018 National Institutes of Health (NIH) annual research budget.
  • Education. It’s important for people to know how to detect risk factors and to ask their doctors about screening. Knowledge around smoking cessation programs, clinical trials, and new developments around treatment must be widespread as well.
  • Early Detection. In a video by Dr. Steven Markowitz, MD, DrPH, discusses low-dose CT scans, a new and accepted screening test, that has shown to improve early detection and treatment. An increase in funds for research is crucial to help improve screening and treatment.
  • Eliminate the stigma. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, an estimated 20 percent of lung cancer deaths are caused from second-hand tobacco exposure and other toxins such as asbestos. 

What’s the difference between mesothelioma and lung cancer?

Although both cancers can develop after asbestos exposure, mesothelioma is not lung cancer. Lung cancer develops within the lung; however, mesothelioma develops in the mesothelium. Mesothelial tumors can be non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant mesothelioma). There are four types of mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal, pericardial and testicular. Both lung cancer and mesothelioma have a poor prognosis.  Commonly, mesothelioma patients have a median survival of approximately 1 year from the time of diagnosis. The five-year survival rate for lung cancer patients is 56 percent for cases detected when the disease is still localized (within the lungs).

Join ADAO for World Lung Cancer Day on August 1 to raise awareness and action to prevent #asbestos-caused lung cancer. Follow the #WLCD2019 to join the global conversation. 

Together, change is possible.

Linda Reinstein

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