To kick off Lung Cancer Awareness Month this November, the American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE initiative, nationally presented by CVS Health, has announced its partnership with Grammy Award-winning singer Patti LaBelle to further educate the public about lung cancer, the leading cancer killer of women in the United States.

Personally affected by lung cancer, LaBelle hopes that lending her powerful voice to the cause will encourage all women to learn how they can make a difference in the fight to defeat lung cancer, which claims the life of one woman every eight minutes in the United States. Raising awareness is critical as only 1 percent of American women even have lung cancer on their health radar.

“It’s very important to me to share my voice in memory of my sisters, who lost their lives to lung cancer in their early 40s,” said LaBelle. “It’s because of them that I want all women to make their lung health a priority. Unfortunately, this story is all too common – most lung cancer cases are still diagnosed late, when treatment options are limited. More funding for lung cancer research is needed to make a difference. Now is the time to donate to give those we love a fighting chance.”

Over the next several months, LaBelle will be working closely with LUNG FORCE to create a short film unveiling how lung cancer has affected not only her life, but the lives of many other people. The short film will be officially debuted during National Women’s Lung Health Week, beginning May 8, 2016.

Support LUNG FORCE on November 17

"We’re so honored that Patti LaBelle is lending her incredible voice to help raise awareness about lung cancer," said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Lung Association. “Lung cancer rates have almost doubled among women since 1974 – affecting our mothers, daughters, sisters and loved ones at all ages, across all races and ethnicities. People need to know about the disease, as greater awareness can save lives.”

Unfortunately, most lung cancer cases are not diagnosed until later stages when treatment options are limited. More early detection methods are needed. For the more than 100,000 women who will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015 alone, more personalized treatment options are needed to save lives.

That’s why from now through November 17, LUNG FORCE is encouraging Americans to support critical lung cancer research with online donations. Supporters can donate and share their voice at LUNGFORCEday.org. On November 17, the designated LUNG FORCE Giving Day, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, a national network of five hospitals that serves adult patients who are fighting cancer, will match every gift to Giving Day, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000.

A donation supports the American Lung Association’s investment in lung cancer research and public health promotion, including early detection, clinical trials, biomarker testing, advocating for more federal research funding and the overall mission of the American Lung Association.

New research shows more education is necessary

According to the American Lung Association’s newly released 2015 Women’s Lung Health Barometer, only a quarter of women at high risk have spoken to their doctor about their lung cancer risks. Greater awareness about screening options and early detection can save lives. That’s why LUNG FORCE is raising awareness among women and men everywhere to learn their risks and share their voice to defeat lung cancer.

In partnership with CVS Health – a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health – and signature education sponsor Medtronic – one of the world’s largest medical technology, services and solutions companies – the 2015 Women’s Lung Health Barometer surveyed more than 1,000 women to better understand what women know about lung cancer and identify ways that LUNG FORCE can empower women to stand together against lung cancer. The survey uncovered startling realities about how little women know about the disease:
• Even though lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of women, killing almost twice as many women as any other cancer, only 1 percent of women have it on their health radar.
• Lung cancer diagnoses have more than doubled among all women in the past 35 years, but only a third of women are aware of this fact.
• While fewer than one in five women have spoken to a doctor about their risk for lung cancer, 77 percent say they are likely to talk to their doctor after they learned more about the disease, underscoring the need for more education.
• Almost all women (83 percent) believe it is important for policymakers to increase funding for lung cancer research.

Awareness and education about the disease are also critical, especially in diverse populations, as only one in four African-American and Hispanic women know that lung cancer kills more people than breast cancer, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer combined.

“The good news is that LUNG FORCE has made tremendous strides in educating women about lung cancer,” Wimmer said. “In the past year, more women have become aware that diagnoses are increasing, and, while most already know that smoking can be a cause, more women now know that lung cancer can also be caused by other risk factors such as radon gas and air pollution.”

Learn your risk and #ShareYourVoice to defeat lung cancer

Visit LUNGFORCE.org to learn what you can do to get involved and reduce your risk. Knowing that more education is necessary to defeat the disease, LUNG FORCE encourages everyone to share their voice in the fight against lung cancer in one of the following ways:
• If lung cancer has touched your life or someone you love, please share your story at LUNGFORCE.org/tell-your-story
• Tell your local Senators and Representatives to invest in lung cancer research at LUNGFORCE.org/take-action
• Use #ShareYourVoice and #LUNGFORCE on social media
• Like the LUNG FORCE Facebook page and follow LUNG FORCE on Twitter
• And donate to LUNGFORCEday.org.

You can also commit to fundraise and rally friends, neighbors and colleagues to stand together and fight lung cancer at a LUNG FORCE Walk. Find out more at LUNGFORCE.org/walk.

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