2016 Press Releases

HomeAboutNewsroomPress ReleasesPress Releases from the ATS2016 Press Releases ▶ World Lung Cancer Day commemorates, celebrates and supports those impacted by lung cancer
World Lung Cancer Day commemorates, celebrates and supports those impacted by lung cancer

July 27, 2016 – On World Lung Cancer Day on August 1, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), of which the  American Thoracic Society is a founding member, commemorates, celebrates and supports those impacted by lung cancer. FIRS joins the grassroots efforts of the lung cancer community to raise awareness about lung cancer and its global impact, creating an educational movement of understanding lung cancer risks as well as early treatment around the world.

Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, accounting for 1.8 million new cases in 2012, and is responsible for nearly one in five cancer deaths according to the World Health Organization. Lung cancer claims more lives yearly than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.  According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 224,390 new cases of lung cancer are expected to be diagnosed in 2016, accounting for about 14 percent of all cancer diagnoses in the United States alone.

World Lung Cancer Day 2016: Honor, Unite, Inspirehighlights the many risk factors to be aware of in order to detect lung cancer at the earliest stage possible. While most understand that smoking is the single greatest risk factor for lung cancer, other lesser known risk factors include environment and genetics. Environmental exposure to radon, asbestos, arsenic, beryllium and uranium have all been linked to lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer also increases with a history of cancer in another part of the body, age, family history, radiation to the chest area and lung diseases such as COPD.

The initiative also aims to shed light on key symptoms and screening options. Symptoms include change in mucus, chest or back pain, coughing up blood and difficulty swallowing. Tests that may be used to diagnose lung cancer include chest X-rays, CT and PET scans, bronchoscopy and needle biopsies. If you are a current or former smoker and over age 55, you may be a candidate for a low-dose CT scan screening that can offer early detection of lung cancer, potentially at its earliest stages. 

More than 70,000 global FIRS members have united in support of World Lung Cancer Day, including member organizations: CHEST, Asociación Latinoamericana del Thorax, the American Thoracic Society, the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology, the European Respiratory Society, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and the Pan African Thoracic Society. 

The American Thoracic Society has free printable educational materials on lung cancer that patients and their families may find useful, including handouts on symptoms, diagnosis, staging, and treatment. These materials are available here.

About the American Thoracic Society
Founded in 1905, the American Thoracic Society is the world's leading medical association dedicated to advancing pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. The Society's 15,000 members prevent and fight respiratory disease around the globe through research, education, patient care and advocacy.

About the Forum of International Respiratory Societies
FIRS is an organization consisting of the world's leading international respiratory societies working together to improve lung health globally: American Thoracic Society, CHEST, Asociación Latinoamericana De Tórax, Asian Pacific Society of Respirology, European Respiratory Society, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases and the Pan African Thoracic Society. The goal of FIRS is to unify and enhance efforts to improve lung health through the combined work of its more than 70,000 members globally.

Contact: Kristi Bruno, kbruno@chestnet.org