Awareness, support, advocacy, and research are needed 365 days per year.
Our work in lung cancer doesn’t end on November 30th. As we wrap up Lung Cancer Awareness Month 2023, we urge you, the Lung Health Foundation community, to keep the momentum going. If we work together, we can create a more hopeful future for people living with lung cancer.
Here are five simple things you can start doing right now:
- Stop lung cancer stigma. Nobody deserves lung cancer, but blame-and-shame language runs rampant in many lung cancer conversations. For some reason, everyone wants to know whether a person living with lung cancer smoked prior to their diagnosis – as if that should affect how much one cares.
Next time you encounter lung cancer stigma, push back and ramp up your support. Try, “I don’t think it matter whether they smoked. They need our care and compassion now.”
- Know the symptoms – it could save a life. While lung cancer doesn’t always have obvious symptoms, there are some symptoms you should always get checked out. A stubborn cough, coughing up blood or rust-coloured sputum, deep chest pain, unexplained weight loss – all of these symptoms warrant a trip to your healthcare provider for answers.
It won’t always be lung cancer – but if it is, it’s better to know as early as possible.
- Lung cancer statistics are often scary. Spread the word about the hopeful stats, too. We often share sobering statistics about the devastating impact of lung cancer. We do it because we want Canadians to understand how urgent this issue is, but it can have an unintended side effect. It can make the situation seem hopeless.
At LHF, Lung Cancer Awareness Month 2023 was all about hope and recognizing how far lung cancer treatments have come. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, lung cancer death rates have decreased by 3.8% per year since 2015. That’s worth celebrating!
- Rally with the organizations that are building a better future for people with lung cancer.
Progress takes people and passion. It takes organizations like Lung Health Foundation, Lung Cancer Canada, and Canadian Cancer Survivor Network – the three non-profit organizations that make up the Right2Survive coalition. By participating in these communities, you help build momentum and keep a spotlight on lung cancer all year long. Why not:
- Engage on social media
- Sign up for newsletters
- Attend events
- 31,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year. More than anything, be there for them. Nobody should go through lung cancer alone. Be a positive, supportive light for people living with lung cancer.
And if you yourself are living with lung cancer, reach out to us. We’re here for you, 365 days per year.