Lung cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, with more than 2,000,000 people diagnosed worldwide each year, and is the leading cause of cancer death globally.1 And if diagnosed at an earlier stage, patients have a 13 times higher likelihood of living for five years.2
By raising awareness of the far-reaching impact of the disease and continuing to challenge the stigma associated with lung cancer, we hope to drive improved outcomes for patients this November and beyond.
Over 20 years ago, the Lung Cancer Alliance launched Lung Cancer Awareness Day (LCAD) in the United States, to raise awareness and recognition of the typical symptoms of lung cancer, which include a persistent cough, fatigue and loss of appetite.3Eventually evolving into a worldwide initiative, Lung Cancer Awareness Month (LCAM) takes place each November.
The intention of the month is to encourage people to seek medical advice sooner, to encourage early diagnosis ensuring the best possible chance of treating the disease effectively, and to highlight other important factors that influence patient outcomes. For example, educating about the complexity of lung cancer, the variety of people affected, and the damaging effects of lung cancer stigma can help to promote earlier diagnosis and foster better patient care.4Furthermore, LCAM is an opportunity to highlight advances in treatment, champion global access to care and importantly, to show our support for patients and their loved ones.
It is a common misconception that lung cancer is only a smokers’ disease. However, over half of those diagnosed are former smokers or people who have never smoked.5This misconception has been linked to poor outcomes, due to factors such as delay in seeking treatment, disease-related distress, reduced social support and lower quality of care.6,7
At Roche, we are committed to improving outcomes for every person affected by lung cancer. One of our key goals this LCAM is to challenge the stigma associated with lung cancer and highlight the perspectives of people affected by the disease. As part of ourLung Cancer And Mecampaign, our new lung artwork (above) unites the individual perspectives of people affected by lung cancer, including patients, their family members, oncologists and advocates, showing how the emotional toll of the disease stretches beyond the patient.
You can help to raise awareness of lung cancer and support all those affected by the disease by:
WHO. Cancer. [Internet; cited 2019 November]. Available from:http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer.
National Cancer Institute. SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2010. [Internet; cited 2019 November]. Available from:https://seer.cancer.gov/archive/csr/1975_2010/results_merged/topic_survival.pdf.
American Cancer Society. Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer. [Internet; cited 2019 October]. Available from:https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/signs-symptoms.html.
American Lung Association. [Internet; cited 2019 October]. Available from:https://www.lung.org/assets/documents/research/addressing-the-stigma-of-lung-cancer.pdf.
Yang P. Lung Cancer in Never Smokers. Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2011;32(1):10-21.
Chambers S, et al. A systematic review of the impact of stigma and nihilism on lung cancer outcomes. BMC Cancer. 2012;12:184.
Henningfield M and Adjel A. Lung Cancer Awareness Month – A Lot of Progress, But More Work Needs to Be Done. Journal of Thoracic Oncology. 2017;12(11):1603-1605.