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Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Making A Difference Against the #1 Cancer-Killer

As we come to the end of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, I am reminded of the impact this dreadful disease has on so many friends, families and loved ones. Like my father, many have Americans have their lives cut much too short by lung cancer, the #1 cancer-killer of all Americans, men and women alike... As you can see below, the statistics regarding lung cancer are troubling, and we must act to change these:

- Every 2 minutes an American is diagnosed with lung cancer.

- Every 3 minutes an American dies from lung cancer.

- Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States of America as well as in North Carolina, taking more lives than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers COMBINED; only heart disease takes more lives than lung cancer.

- Lung cancer takes the lives of almost twice as many women when compared with breast cancer and three times as many men when compared with prostate cancer.

- 1 in every 3 Americans have been touched by lung cancer, whether diagnosed themselves or by knowing someone who has had lung cancer.

- 1 in every 14 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer.

- If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer: 18% of those diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked, and 61% of those diagnosed with lung cancer are former smokers that have quit smoking, many of whom quit decades ago. Only 21% of lung cancer patients were smoking when diagnosed.

- Although lung cancer can be caused by smoking, there are many other causes, too, like exposure to radon, second-hand smoke, genetic susceptibility, radiation therapy, asbestos, cadmium, arsenic and diesel fumes.

- It is important for folks to be in tune with their bodies to know when something is wrong; use the acronym of BREATHE to explain symptoms associated with having lung cancer...
--- Blood in cough
--- Recurring respiratory infections
--- Enduring cough that is new or different
--- Ache or pain in shoulder, back or chest
--- Trouble breathing
--- Hoarseness or wheezing
--- Exhaustion or weakness

- While 99% of prostate patients survive 5 years or longer after diagnosis and 89% of breast cancer patients survive 5 years or longer after diagnosis, only 16% of lung cancer patients survive 5 years or longer after diagnosis, and this has been stagnant for years. We must work to keep more lung cancer patients alive longer so we have more survivors living longer, better lives.

I am very excited to report that this year's Greensboro LUNGe Forward Run, Walk and Rally had over 700 participants who have raised over $135,000 thus far, although fundraising continues through Wednesday, December 31st. Together, we truly are making a difference. There is power in numbers, and the involvement of each individual who attended or donated towards this cause is very important in decreasing deaths as well as providing support to those affected by lung cancer through research, awareness, education and access programs across North Carolina.

On behalf of myself and everyone that worked to plan this year's Greensboro LUNGe Forward Run, Walk and Rally, I send out a HUGE thank you... This event has the most wonderful planning team, filled with non-paid volunteers who work tirelessly all year long to create an event that is both enjoyable and successfully supports our mission, raising awareness and funding to make a difference against the #1 cancer-killer. This event is truly a labor of love for everyone involved!

If you, too, want to help with #LUNGeForward5K, feel free to make a tax-deductible donation at http://bit.ly/FightLC or learn more at http://www.LungCancerInitiativeNC.org/, reviewing the "lung cancer facts", "lung cancer screening info" and "resources" under "lung cancer info" from the page's header. Remember, if you have lungs, you can get lung cancer so it's vital to know the symptoms, be aware of what's happening with your body and seek assistance if you feel like something is out of whack. Early detection makes treatment so much more effective!

Before reading this blog post, if someone had asked you about which cancer takes the lives of more women than any other, would you have guessed lung cancer? Likewise, before reading this blog post, if someone had asked you about which cancer takes the lives of more men than any other, would you have guessed lung cancer? There is so much power in knowledge so please pass this information along to anyone and everyone you know.

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