12 Ways to Celebrate, Commemorate & Support on World Lung Cancer Day

“Don’t smoke – you could get lung cancer.”

You may have heard these words at some point in your life. It’s often one of the leading arguments to convince people to avoid smoking, which indeed can cause lung cancer. But what many people may not know is that lung cancer kills thousands of people who never smoked.

Some of these non-smokers are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare and fatal cancer in the lining of the lungs caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. These people could have avoided cigarettes and nicotine their whole lives. Maybe they never touched a cigarette because they knew it could cause lung cancer. But did they know that going to their jobs as carpenters, railroad workers, or even members of the military could put them at risk of getting lung cancer and other rare lung diseases? Did they know that washing their father’s dusty clothes after a day at work in a factory could give them lung cancer? Probably not.

According to the Lung Cancer Foundation, about 16,000 to 24,000 “never smokers” – people who never smoked a day in their lives – die from lung cancer every year. Some of these people are mesothelioma warriors.

This year, World Lung Cancer Day (WLCD) is taking place on August 1, 2017. Instead of only considering the most top-of-mind individuals affected by lung cancer – those who smoked – let’s remember everyone affected by it. The hard working father who never knew his employer was knowingly exposing him to asbestos fibers on the job. The dedicated wife who never knew she was breathing in toxic dust when she washed her husband’s work clothes every night. The innocent daughter who played in a room where her dad kept his work shoes soiled with microscopic asbestos dust. The devastated loved ones left behind by their relative’s fatal and preventable mesothelioma diagnosis.

The 6th Annual World Lung Cancer Day is a global grassroots initiative meant to celebrate, commemorate and support all people affected by lung cancer. The purpose is to join together and let your voice be heard.

Know Someone with Lung Cancer? Get Involved

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization will host a twitter chat in honor of World Lung Cancer Day on Aug. 1 from 12-1 p.m. EST. Using the hashtag #WLCD, victims, experts, advocates and concerned citizens can connect, share and spread asbestos awareness. ADAO will tweet a series of questions about awareness and personal experiences with lung cancer. The event will feature Bill Couzens of Less Cancer, an organization focused on cancer prevention, who will moderate the event.

Click here to learn more.

Here are some other actions you can take this coming week to help make a difference this year and take part in World Lung Cancer Day:

  1. Join the World Lung Cancer Day event page on Facebook and share the page with your Facebook friends to spread the word.
  2. Write a letter to your local newspaper or magazine about WLCD.
  3. Call, email or send a card to someone who is affected by lung cancer and let them know you care.
  4. Commemorate a deceased loved one.
  5. Get a World Lung Cancer Day Proclamation declared for your city or state.
  6. Help spread the word that anyone can get lung cancer, not just people who smoke.
  7. Change your Facebook profile picture and cover photo to the WLCD logo.
  8. Set up a fundraiser page for a friend.
  9. Organize a local get together.
  10. Request that local officials light up a government building to honor WLCD.
  11. Light a candle for the WLCD candlelight vigil.
  12. Learn more about WLCD here.

As August 1 approaches, remember that the more awareness we can spread about all types of lung cancer, including mesothelioma, and their prevention, the better our world will be. The first step is education. Learn more about how asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma and how people who were exposed decades ago can be diagnosed with the disease today.

With you and your loved ones, all of us at Simmons Hanly Conroy stand up and join the worldwide effort to Celebrate, Commemorate and Support all people affected by lung cancer.