National Women’s Lung Health Week

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It’s National Women’s Lung Health Week , an itiative from the American Lung Association to raise awareness of lung cancer. Sarah Pearson joined Good Morning Utah to talk about the reasons for the event.

Included below is some of the information discussed:

Sarah’s Story

In July 2017, we found out that my mom had lung cancer. She has NEVER smoked and by the time we found out, it was already at stage 4. On September 18, after a week in the ICU, they sent her home and said there was nothing else they could do. She passed away that next morning at 3 a.m. It was only two months.

It still seems so unreal to me. She had a large mass in her lung and had to have an oxygen concentrator do most of her breathing for her. Every breath made her moan in pain. I just wish we could have found it sooner and maybe gotten it treated. You just don’t think about getting tested when you aren’t even a smoker and have no family history of it. I miss her so much!

About National Women’s Lung Health Week

This week (May 13-17), the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative will celebrate the fifth anniversary of National Women’s Lung Health Week (also known as Turquoise Takeover), an initiative to raise awareness of lung cancer, the number one cancer killer of women in the U.S. Throughout the last five years, the LUNG FORCE initiative has made a lifesaving impact and united the nation to raise critical funds for lung cancer research.

For Turquoise Takeover, the Lung Association encourages the public to wear turquoise, the signature color of LUNG FORCE, share facts about lung cancer and donate to life-saving lung cancer research.

“This week we are encouraging Salt Lake City residents to wear turquoise to raise awareness of the fact that anyone can get lung cancer, and no one deserves it,” said James Martinez, senior director of communications for the Lung Association. “We’re are proud to stand with those facing the disease and raise funds to support new treatments and better methods of early detection, so that we can save more lives.”

Throughout the past five years, the LUNG FORCE initiative has resulted in:

  • Increase of the Lung Association’s annual investment in lung cancer research by over 200 percent, totaling more than $12.5 million since 2014.
  • Helped secure 69 percent increase in NIH lung cancer research funding.
  • Successfully advocated for Medicare coverage of lung cancer screening for about eight million high-risk adults.
  • Supported more than 86,000 patients and caregivers through online resources.
  • Encouraged more than 245,000 Americans to take the “Saved By The Scan” lung cancer screening eligibility quiz.
    • More than 83,000 people who completed the quiz met the criteria and were encouraged to speak to their doctor about being screened for lung cancer.

Even with this progress, lung cancer is still the number one cancer killer, so more work is needed to ultimately defeat the disease, including more research funding for new treatments and better methods of early detection.

One of the reasons the disease is so deadly is because only 18 percent of lung cancer cases among women are diagnosed early, when the disease is most curable. Women can arm themselves against lung cancer with information on risk factors and who might be eligible for screening. The Lung Association encourages everyone to learn about lung cancer and talk to their doctor if they are concerned about their risk.

During National Women’s Lung Health Week, the Lung Association is highlighting the inspirational stories of LUNG FORCE Heroes, those whose lives have been impacted by lung cancer. Additionally, the Lung Association encourages everyone to get involved this week by wearing turquoise, turning their social media profiles turquoise and donating to research at From May 5-25, CVS Pharmacy customers can make a donation of $1 or more at the register to raise funds for lung cancer research.

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