You might already know that November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. But you might wonder why there are nationwide efforts in support of the fatal disease.
Check out these staggering statistics from the National Cancer Institute:
- Approximately 213,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with lung cancer each year.
- Over 160,000 Americans die from lung cancer on an annual basis.
- More people succumb to lung cancer than breast, colon, and prostate cancer combined.
- This past year, there were 215,020 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the United States.
As you can see, even though folks are aware that lung cancer exists, they may be unaware of the developments in lung cancer research, and the progress that still needs to be made, in addition to how many lives the disease touches on an annual basis.
Lung Cancer Awareness Month is designed to bring the vital lung cancer issues into the spotlight. You can do your part by getting involved in the efforts of some of the larger and more established lung cancer charities, such as the National Cancer Institute, The Lung Cancer Alliance, and the American Lung Association.
However, you can also join the fight against lung cancer on a community or personal level. Look at our list of easy ways to help the cause, big and small.
- Sign an online petition or send a personal email to your local or state government, urging congress to increase the funding of lung cancer research.
- Organize a quit smoking campaign – Urge fellow employees who smoke to circulate pledge forms for donations. Take pledges for how many days they can butt out! It may be just the incentive they need to starting a smoke-free life.
- Organize a local run, walk, bike ride, or dog walk in support of lung cancer funding or research.
- Host a yummy bake sale or yard sale with all the proceeds going to lung cancer awareness.
- Ask your company to make a bulk donation to a large lung cancer charity such as the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, or the Lung Cancer Alliance.
- Ask your employer to sponsor a matching program. This means for every donation an employee makes, the company will match it. This will encourage more employees to donate to the cause, as well as the higher ups at your company. Remind everyone they get a tax break on all donations.
- Create a Web page dedicated to lung cancer survivors. Or start a blog inviting people to tell their personal stories about how lung cancer has affected them. Make sure to include a tool for online donations to your charity of choice.
- If Web design is not your forte, try simply posting a link to another lung cancer fundraising site on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or other social networking profile.
- Send a community editorial to your local newspaper with URLs to lung cancer fundraisers included.
- Offer to write a company newsletter or post on their intranet about local community fundraising efforts, and how employees can get involved.
- Host a talent show at your local hospital in support of lung cancer patients.
- Draft an official letter from the community to your local representative urging support for better screening equipment at your hospitals.
- Ask a local celebrity to speak at your school about lung cancer and the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure.
- Design and distribute educational lung cancer brochures at your place of work or local hospital. Or reach out to the larger lung associations for ready-made materials that provide tips on preventing lung disease.
- Reach out to your local hospital or community walk-in clinic to host a free lung cancer screening day.
- Invite a local medical professional to be the guest speaker at an educational evening, spreading the word about lung cancer and early detection.