August marks the beginning of a new summer month, and with it, World Lung Cancer Day. Lung Cancer continues to be one of the most common cancers worldwide, claiming more lives than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. In the early twentieth century, lung cancer was rare. Today it is one of the most common cancers in the world, affecting nearly one in five cancer deaths globally. Factors that attribute to lung cancer are smoking, asbestos, and air pollution, to name a few. If you are a smoker you are 24-36 times more likely to get lung cancer than a nonsmoker.
Those who are part of the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) and the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) use this day to communicate, celebrate, and support those impacted by lung cancer throughout the world.
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) holds a World Conference on Lung Cancer – the largest meeting dedicated to lung cancer and other chest malignancies. Last month the IASLC group hosted a dedicated Mesothelioma Forum of medical professionals sharing the latest clinical trials. Although the research is hopeful, there is much work to be done. Collaboration throughout the world leads to more treatment options. More research could help end this disease. The other factor is education, and reaching as many people as possible with knowledge of the risk factors that can lead to a diagnosis of lung cancer.
The goal of World Lung Cancer Day is to bring education and attention to a disease that still remains a global threat to health. Therapies are still being developed and education is still needed. People throughout the world continue to smoke cigarettes, and now the latest fad of vaping whose long term effects are unknown.
According to the World Health Organization, 34,000 Americans die from preventable asbestos-caused lung cancer each year. Asbestos causes lung cancer and causes Mesothelioma. Despite how you have contracted your disease, please early treatment and detection are you best fight against these diseases.
Collaboration, awareness, support, and education are all factors in making the first day of August World Lung Cancer Day annually.