Mission Moment December – 2018

(December 17, 2018)

LUNG CANCER

Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Through our LUNG FORCE initiative, we were a national leader in raising awareness during November’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month. As part of our many efforts during this important month, we launched our Lock Up Lung Cancer campaign to expose lung cancer as America’s “hidden killer” and encourage more Americans to learn more about the leading  cancer killer. We also released our Spanish language Saved By The Scan campaign materials and website—SalvaTuPulmon.org—bringing this lifesaving initiative to an even wider audience.

Lung Cancer Roundtable: The Lung Association was well represented at the National Lung Cancer Roundtable on Lung Cancer Screening in Crystal City, Virginia Dec. 10-11. Attendees included Chief Mission Officer Deb Brown, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Albert Rizzo. Vice President of Research and Scientific Affairs Susan Rappaport, presented a poster on the Lung Association’s efforts to increase lung cancer screening implementation and increase awareness of lifesaving lung cancer screening. The goal of this effort is to reach the eight million Americans who are considered to be at high risk for lung cancer. It’s estimated that less than 5 percent of those at high risk for lung cancer have been screened. Our Saved By The Scan initiative, encourages high-risk current and former smokers to take an online screening eligibility quiz and speak to their doctor about screening. To increase the number of lung cancer screening programs available across the country, we have also developed a Lung Cancer Screening Implementation Guide. The guide is intended for healthcare providers to address barriers to implementing a lung cancer screening program.

LUNG FORCE Hero: LUNG FORCE Hero Erin O. says this about her grandmother, “It wore down her body. It exhausted her strength. And I know it took her life. But cancer couldn’t dim her smile. And what a smile it was!” Read more about Erin and her indomitable Grandma.

RESEARCH

Our Research Published: Research we co-funded has been published in the journal Nature Communications. Epigenetic therapies, which target enzymes that alter what genes are turned on or off in a cell, are of interest in the cancer world, because they could potentially be a way of making a cancer less aggressive or less malignant. The researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital report that at least one epigenetic therapy that looked promising for lung cancer actually has the opposite effect. They also identify a strategy that reduces these cells, curbing lung cancer in mice. Learn more.

Research: Over 100 Years of Progress: For over a century, the American Lung Association has advanced medical and scientific research to move us closer to a world free of lung disease. Our new video explains how basic, translational and clinical research are all pieces of the puzzle, working together to save lives.

Meet Our Research Team: Gina DeNicola, Ph.D.: Changes in the pathways in which cells signal one another are implicated in the development of cancer. One of the most common pathways mutated in lung cancer is called NRF2/KEAP1. With funding from the American Lung Association, Dr. DeNicola is working to see if exploring these changes in cell signaling pathways can shed new light on lung cancer.

EVENTS

Get Fit, and Climb for Healthy Lungs! Do you resolve to get fit for the new year? Why not get started by preparing to participate in an American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb? Participants raise funds to support the mission of the Lung Association while training to climb the stairs of a skyscraper. Make your new fitness goal and every stair you climb count! Join us for a Climb near you.

HEALTH PROMOTIONS

Quit Smoking Support with CVS Health: As the national presenting sponsor of LUNG FORCE, CVS Health is committed to defeating lung cancer, and helps the American Lung Association raise funds and support for lung cancer education, awareness and research. The data is clear: anyone can get lung cancer, whether they ever smoked or not. However, the data also clearly show the number one risk factor for lung cancer is smoking. The best prevention for lung cancer is to never start smoking, but for the 37.8 million Americans that still smoke, quitting can be difficult. But a smoker can double their chances of quitting successfully when they take part in a smoking cessation program and use quit smoking medication to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and urges.

We are proud to partner with CVS Health on two new notable programs that allow smokers in select communities across the United States to access free tobacco cessation counseling and medication. Individuals enrolled in these select Freedom From Smoking® group clinics and through one-on-one support from our Lung HelpLine are able to access their choice of CVS Health nicotine replacement therapy—all at no cost to the individual. Support for these partnerships is provided through Be The First, CVS Health’s five-year $50 million initiative to help deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation and extend the company’s larger commitment to helping people lead tobacco-free lives, and gets us closer to the American Lung Association’s vision of a world free of lung disease.

Flu Season is Here—Wash Your Hands! Did you know that proper hand washing is an effective way to help you from getting or spreading the flu? Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious and sometimes serious, even life-threatening disease. Vaccination is the best prevention, but washing your hands—the right way—can also reduce the spread of influenza virus and other germs. Learn more about proper hand washing on our blog and enjoy this new video that puts a musical twist on clean hands.

ADVOCACY

Health Professionals Needed to Sign Letter on Mercury Emissions: Are you a health or medical professional? Please sign this health professionals’ letter in support of keeping in place lifesaving limits on mercury and air toxics from power plants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering weakening these standards. They need to hear from health experts that undermining these protections is unacceptable and would cause irreversible harm to patients and communities. This fact sheet explains the importance of protecting ourselves from air toxics like mercury.  Sign the letter now.

Fourth National Climate Assessment: On Nov. 23, the Trump Administration released the Fourth National Climate Assessment, a Congressionally-mandated report led by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which comprises 13 federal agencies. The report reinforces the conclusions of our “State of the Air” reports, that increasing levels of ozone pollution and degraded air quality due to more frequent and severe wildfires, driven by climate change, will increase the risk of adverse respiratory and cardiovascular health impacts, including early death. The Lung Association is working to protect us from the deadly health effects of air pollution and climate change and urges the Trump Administration to heed dire warnings in this report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, vehicles and other sources to save American lives.

EACH Breath Blog

Twenty years ago, four major tobacco companies settled a court case with 46 states and the District of Columbia. The tobacco Master Settlement Agreement remains the largest civil settlement in U.S. history, and as a result, kids are better protected from tobacco marketing, and Joe Camel is out of work. The funding from the settlement was intended to be allocated to lifesaving tobacco control efforts in states. But have they used these funds as promised? Find out.

Nov. 27 was Giving Tuesday, and we want to thank all of you, who gave from the heart to support healthy lungs and healthy air! If you haven’t had a chance to donate, it’s not too late. You can help us wrap up the year, and give the gift of breath! One thoughtful way to support our lifesaving work is to make a gift in honor or memory of someone. THANK YOU again for all you do. YOU make everything we do possible.

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