On August 1, 2022, international communities will join together to commemorate the 11th annual World Lung Cancer Day — a global grassroots initiative that aims to celebrate, honor and support individuals who have been impacted by the world’s deadliest cancer.
Each year, the world is invited to participate in, commemorate and support World Lung Cancer Day by raising awareness about lung cancer and encouraging overall lung health practices like preventive care screenings. Social media postings related to lung health are also encouraged.
World Lung Cancer Day was introduced in 2012 by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies to bring awareness to the 1.8 million people who were diagnosed with lung cancer in that year alone.
As a Switzerland-based respiratory health advocacy group established in 2002, the forum currently has more than 70,000 members throughout the world, representing organizations such as the American College of Chest Physicians, Asian Pacific Society of Respirology, European Respiratory Society, Pan African Thoracic Society and Asociación Latinoamericana del Thorax.
Understanding the World’s Deadliest Cancer
Marked as the global leading cause of cancer-related deaths, lung cancer accounts for 25% of deaths each year, which includes an annual average of more than 139,000 deaths in the United States.
In addition to the 541,000 Americans currently living with this cancer — which includes nearly 7% of men and nearly 6% of women — the American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 240,000 Americans will be newly diagnosed in 2022.
About 75% of internationally reported cases of lung cancer are connected to smoking tobacco. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 85% to 90% of lung cancer diagnoses in the United States are attributed to cigarettes.
Fast Facts About Lung Cancer Worldwide
- Accounts for nearly 25% of all cancer deaths
- 18% 5-year survival rate (stage 1 diagnosis: 68 to 92% / stage 4 diagnosis: 0 to 10%)
- 2.21 million new cases and 1.8 million deaths in 2020 alone
- 65+ age group is the largest population
- 70 is the average age of diagnosis
- 3% of all lung cancer deaths are caused by secondhand smoke
The Dangers of Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer
Aside from the dangers of smoking tobacco and experiencing secondhand smoke, prolonged exposure to asbestos can also cause lung cancer. Asbestos, a thousands-year-old toxic organic mineral with usage dating back to ancient civilizations, can also lead to asbestosis and mesothelioma.
In the United States, about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are reported each year. In fact, over an 18-year period between 1999 to 2017, an estimated 236,981 to 277,654 Americans died from exposure to asbestos. Most new cases affect military service members and veterans, firefighters, construction workers and auto mechanics who have inhaled or swallowed asbestos.
Family members of those who worked at these at-risk occupations may also be at risk of mesothelioma. For example, exposure to hair, clothing and equipment contaminated with asbestos dust makes mesothelioma a potential threat to members of the same household.
Lung Cancer vs. Mesothelioma
There is a common misconception that mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer. However, mesothelioma actually first develops in the linings of major organs.
In most cases, mesothelioma forms in the lung linings (pleura), but it can also form in the abdominal lining (peritoneum), heart lining (pericardium) and testicle lining (tunica vaginalis).
A rare and aggressive cancer that can take between 10 and 50 years to develop, mesothelioma is caused by previous exposure to asbestos. About 5% of lung cancer diagnoses are attributed to on-the-job risks like asbestos exposure.
Supporting Research to Find a Lung Cancer Cure
One of the most impactful ways to support lung cancer patients on World Lung Cancer Day is to donate to a reputable cancer research group.
As a leading supporter of several cancer research centers throughout the United States, Simmons Hanly Conroy is committed to supporting research to find cures for asbestos-related cancers.
Since 1999, the firm has donated more than $20 million to cancer research and is a notable supporter of the American Lung Association, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, the International Mesothelioma Program and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.
“The firm has been at the forefront in fighting for justice for cancer victims,” said John Simmons, chairman of Simmons Hanly Conroy. “We will continue to show that commitment with our hearts and with our pocketbooks.”
In July 2022, the firm’s attorneys secured justice through a $15 million verdict for the family of a construction worker diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Further, in a landmark verdict, mesothelioma attorneys at Simmons Hanly Conroy also represented a 30-year U.S. steelworker who was awarded $250 million — the largest asbestos verdict against a single defendant in the history of asbestos litigation.
Get Involved on the 11th Annual World Lung Cancer Day
There are many effective ways that you can get involved on World Lung Cancer Day to support lung cancer patients and families.
Here’s how to get involved on World Lung Cancer Day:
- Connect with survivors through the Cancer Survivors Network
- Educate yourself on the importance of lung cancer health and early detection screenings
- Include the #worldlungcancerday hashtag in your commemorative social media posts
- Make a donation to the American Cancer Society
If you’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma, Simmons Hanly Conroy may be able to help you pursue financial compensation.
Request a free legal consultation today to learn more about your options.