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Breathing – every day, all day and night – is what keeps humans alive. By bringing oxygen through the lungs and supplying it to the cells in our bodies, every breath is life giving. But when the lungs are compromised by disease, they are unable to supply the needed oxygen and, over the long term, the body is unable to thrive or even survive.

Lung cancer is responsible for the most deaths of any of the cancers, with more than 120,000 people each year expected to die from this disease. Lung Cancer Awareness Month is here to educate and empower individuals and families about lung cancer prevention and early detection, so that everyone can breathe easier with healthy and happy lungs! 

History of Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung Cancer Awareness Month has origins that can be traced back more than 25 years, to 1995. Originally getting its start with Lung Cancer Awareness Day, the event developed over time and grew into an entire month of observances and activities. In 2022, President Biden and the First Lady made a Presidential Proclamation that officially designated November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

During this time, various groups and organizations, whether on a local or global scale, join together to show support for the needs of those who have lung cancer, as well as raising awareness and educating the public with the purpose of prevention.

Various activities take place during Lung Cancer Awareness Month, including educational opportunities about the need for lung cancer screenings, what the risk factors are for this type of cancer, and how to manage health preventatively.

In recent years, lung cancer has been reported as the leading cause of cancer related deaths, as well as a high showing of new cases each year. Of course, the first line of defense against lung cancer is to act preventatively.

The next is to maintain regular screenings in order to provide early detection. Just like with most cancers, the earlier that lung cancer is found, the higher the chances are of survival, remission and even cure.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month is meant to show support for those who are struggling to cope and survive this disease, and it is also here to help reduce the stigma that can come along with lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month Timeline

1400s 

Accounts of lung cancer are documented 

Though they didn’t have the correct name for it, records of up to 50% of miners working along the border of Germany die of “mountain disease”, now believed to be lung cancer.[1]

1761

Autopsies performed in Italy

Giovanni Morgagni of Padua performs autopsies to learn more about disease, leading to the important field of oncology, the study of cancer.[2]

1929

Lung cancer is associated with smoking 

Fritz Lickint, a German doctor, makes the connection between lung cancer and smokers.

1940s

First chemotherapy 

Mustard nitrogens are used with the hopes of treating lung cancer.[3]

1995

Lung Cancer Alliance is founded 

This non-profit organization is established to meet the needs of patients of lung cancer while raising awareness about the disease.[4]

How to Observe Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Get on board with paying respect to this Lung Cancer Awareness Month in a variety of ways! Check out these ideas and activities that are just a few of the many opportunities to celebrate and observe this month-long event:

Raise Awareness about Lung Cancer

Many people don’t realize that lung cancer is the most deadly form of cancer, and they also may not know that prevention and early detection are possible. Lung Cancer Awareness Month is a perfect opportunity to share with friends, family members and others in that sphere of influence about the ways people can take their health into their own hands. With thirty full days to connect, this is a great time to share about the month on social media, host an event at work, make it a part of the kids’ school program and much more.

See a Doctor to Quit Smoking

For almost 100 years, there has been a known association between smoking and lung cancer. In fact, today, at least 90% of lung cancer diagnoses are caused by smoking. Even with the knowledge of these statistics, it can be very difficult to quit smoking and many people struggle with it for years. Lung Cancer Awareness Month might act as a motivator to take quitting smoking seriously by seeing a doctor to find out what kind of aids and help are available. There are also various types of support groups that can offer support and assistance in the effort to stop smoking – for your own health as well as for those who love you.

Join LUNG FORCE

One way those impacted by lung cancer can get involved might be to join the LUNG FORCE initiative, sponsored by the American Lung Association. This online community is meant to offer support, provide resources, raise awareness and encourage people to get health screenings. LUNG FORCE can be joined by patients, caregivers and family members who want to share their stories in order to bring encouragement to others who are on the lung cancer journey. In honor of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, take some steps to get involved with this online initiative.

Make a Donation to a Lung Cancer Charity

Those who feel compelled to share with people who are suffering from lung cancer can make a donation to several different charities that offer support to those with cancer, as well as working hard toward finding a cure. Consider supporting one of these or many other charitable organizations in honor of Lung Cancer Awareness Month:

  • American Lung Association
  • Lung Cancer Research Foundation
  • LUNGevity Foundation
  • Lung Cancer Foundation of America

Lung Cancer Awareness Month FAQs

Does smoking weed cause lung cancer?

Though research is ongoing about whether smoking marijuana causes lung cancer, it can definitely harm the lungs and cause many other health problems.[1]

Does vaping cause lung cancer?

While it is still unclear if vaping causes lung cancer, it does coat the lungs with harmful substances that may cause cancer.[2]

What causes lung cancer?

About 90% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking, but it can be caused by other toxic substances, like asbestos, or it may simply appear for no reason.[3]

Is lung cancer curable?

Some types of lung cancer, if caught early, can go into remission or even have no evidence of cancer left after treatment.[4]

What are symptoms of lung cancer?

Early symptoms of lung cancer can be a new cough that doesn’t stop, chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, bone pain, losing weight and more.

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