August 1st is World Lung Cancer Day. The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), alongside members of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), commemorates, celebrates, and supports those impacted by lung cancer. FIRS joins the grassroots efforts of the lung cancer community to raise awareness about lung cancer and its global impact, creating an educational movement of understanding lung cancer risks, as well as an early treatment around the world.
Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Many times, lung cancer can be caused by harmful substances such as asbestos, radon, arsenic, beryllium, and uranium. More people die from lung cancer each year than from colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer combined. However, lung cancer-related deaths are on the decline! Lung cancer death rates have been falling on average 2.5% each year, and the 5-year survival rate has increased.
In 2017 there will be an estimated 222,500 new cases of lung cancer and 155,870 deaths from lung cancer.
Despite these devastating statistics, lung cancer research only receives 6% of the federal government’s money spent on cancer research. In 2015, $349 million was spent on lung cancer research, as compared to $674 million on breast cancer research.