It’s no secret: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among American men and women by far — and it isn’t even close. In fact, lung cancer kills more Americans each year than breast, prostate, and colon cancer combined. Globally, it is responsible for roughly 1 out of every 6 cancer deaths.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that in 2021 the United States has seen:
- Around 235,760 new cases of lung cancer (roughly 119,110 new cases among men and 116,660 among women)
- Around 131,880 deaths from lung cancer (roughly 69,410 men and 62,4760 women)
Statistics aside, it is critically important that Americans come together to help those who are currently battling lung cancer and to support initiatives that generate awareness of the causes of lung cancer and how they can be ultimately avoided.
And that’s why Lung Cancer Awareness Month is a vitally important month-long awareness campaign. Developed by several international organizations, including the American Lung Association (ALA), Lung Cancer Awareness Month aims to “raise critical awareness about lung cancer and turn the tide against this disease.”
Staying Educated on Lung Cancer Awareness
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), tobacco smoke is responsible for between 80-90% of all lung cancer cases in the United States.
There are other big risk factors to be aware of, too, including:
- A family history of lung cancer
- Exposure to secondhand smoke
- Treatment with radiation therapy to the breast(s) or chest
- Exposure to harmful chemicals such as chromium, nickel, arsenic, soot, tar, and asbestos
Among many carcinogens, asbestos continues to be a tremendous threat — and exposure to asbestos can increase the risk of developing lung cancer and other fatal lung diseases. Though asbestos is only attributable to a portion of the total number of lung cancer cases diagnosed annually, it certainly remains an ongoing problem to Americans’ overall lung health.
How Asbestos Contributes to Lung Cancer Death Tolls
While most people associate asbestos with the fatal cancer known as mesothelioma, which is distinct from lung cancer, the truth is asbestos can also cause the development of lung cancer. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged inside a person’s lung tissue, sparking the slow development of cancerous cells over time.
While mesothelioma commonly develops in the pleural lining of the lungs — making it a cancer of a pleura and not the lungs — lung cancer differs because the cancerous cells develop on or within the lungs themselves.
According to recent research published in the British Journal of Cancer, asbestos-related lung cancer is responsible for around 6,000 of all lung-cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. Asbestos-related lung cancer is most prevalent among individuals who were exposed to asbestos at their jobs.
Getting Involved in Lung Cancer Awareness Month 2021
The ALA recommends getting involved during Lung Cancer Awareness Month by doing any of the following:
- Share one of the ALA’s social media posts, including:
- I’m joining LUNG FORCE this November during Lung Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness of the leading cancer killer—lung cancer. Learn more at LUNGFORCE.org #LCAM
- About every two and a half minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with lung cancer. Join @LUNGFORCE during Lung Cancer Awareness Month to help raise awareness! LUNGFORCE.org #LCAM
- Anyone can get lung cancer, and no one deserves it. Help me raise awareness and inspire new hope by supporting @LUNGFORCE during Lung Cancer Awareness Month. LUNGFORCE.org #LCAM
- Visit the ALA’s 2021 Lung Health Barometer, which provides active data and statistics on public sentiment regarding lung cancer awareness and its causes Join the ALA’s planned Lung Cancer Patient Meetup on the Go — a series of events that will include live and recorded webinars
- Update your Facebook profile by using the ALA’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month frame, which can be found here.
- Stay tuned to the ALA’s social media accounts for more awareness posts and information, including the organization’s annual State of the Lung Cancer Report, which is due out on Nov. 16
For over 40 years, Sokolove Law has been fighting for those impacted by asbestos exposure. We’ve successfully recovered over $4.8 Billion in compensation for clients effected by mesothelioma and related diseases. If you or a family member are effected, contact us for a free legal case review to discover how we might be able to help you.