-That lung cancer isn’t just a disease for smokers? Approximately 18% of new lung cancer cases are among non-smokers. And over 60% of newly diagnosed patients have already quit smoking.
-That lung cancer kills more women than breast cancer? In 2013, it is estimated that of all cancer deaths among women, 77,220 were from lung cancer, while 39,620 were from breast cancer.
-That despite being the #1 cancer killer for men and women, lung cancer receives the least amount of federal funding funding per cancer death? This despite the fact that it claims more lives than breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer combined.
That last fact is the most shocking to me. And the most infuriating.
Yes, breast cancer is a terrible spectre hovering over every woman. But lung cancer is a much more likely, and scary, prospect. For all of us. So why does breast cancer receive over 18 times the federal funds for research, per death, than lung cancer? In 2012, each breast cancer death received over $26,000 in federal research funds, while each lung cancer death received a mere $1442.
That is pathetic.
And that is one of the reasons why the 5 year survival rate for lung cancer is a sad 16%, compared to 89% for breast cancer and 99% for prostate cancer.
Let’s change this, people. I’m not a big one to ask for funds or sic my daughter on you with her glossy catalog of crap for sale. But this is important. It’s vital.
So please, please, please find it in your hearts to do something about the lack of attention, resources, and compassion available to lung cancer patients. That’s why the Littlest Brewster and I are running in Saturday’s LUNGe Forward 5K in Raleigh. (Well, I’m running; she’s riding in the stroller. Lucky duck.) If you aren’t capable of donating to our page at the Lung Cancer Initiative, please look for a lung cancer event in your area.
Lung cancer awareness month is November. Let’s make white the new pink.