NASHVILLE, Tenn. — November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the Tennessee Titans supported Saint Thomas Health in recognizing lung cancer survivors during their Week 12 game against the Raiders at Nissan Stadium.
According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer is the leading killer in both men and women in the United States and is responsible for more deaths each year than colon, pancreatic and breast cancer combined. Fortunately, it's also the most preventable — and, for the first time — advanced screenings can catch lung cancer early, reducing the risk of death by up to 20 percent.
Lung Cancer Awareness Day started back in 1995 and as the lung cancer movement grew, awareness activities increased and grew into Lung Cancer Awareness Month. During the month many people throughout the country and the world come together for the lung cancer community.
Lung cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the lungs, which comprise two spongy organs in your chest that take in oxygen when you inhale and release carbon dioxide when you exhale. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States among both men and women, claiming more lives each year than colon, prostate, ovarian and breast cancer combined.
Until recently, if you were diagnosed with lung cancer, the prospect for survival was slim because by the time symptoms were recognized, the cancer in most cases had reached an advanced state.
The Titans supported Saint Thomas Health in recognizing lung cancer survivors during their Week 12 game against the Raiders at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Lynne McCracken)
Jenny White was shocked with a diagnosis of lung cancer nearly five years ago. She didn't smoke and wondered how she got lung cancer. After being diagnosed, she quickly learned you don't have to be a smoker to get the disease. As Jenny puts it, "if you have lungs, you can get lung cancer."
Saint Thomas Health Lung Cancer and Thoracic Center offers new screening options to help catch the disease in its earliest stages which increases the odds of successful treatment. Screening for lung cancer can be more effective than mammography screenings.
"Treatment of lung cancer in the last 50 years has improved but not by much," said Ward Houck, MD, Thoracic Surgeon, Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital. "The most significant impact we have made in lung cancer survival has been earlier detection. Lung cancer screening works, period, and it represents our best chance to cure a disease that currently kills 90 percent of its victims."