October garners much attention and awareness to Breast Cancer – and that’s definitely a good thing. However, let’s not forget about the other forms of cancer.
November serves as an awareness campaign month for three types of cancer: lung, stomach, and pancreatic.
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States, accounting for 27% of all cancer deaths. While more people are quitting smoking, which has subdued cases of lung cancer in recent years, it remains prevalent – this year it’s estimated to represent about 13% of all new cancer diagnoses.
Similar to breast cancer, early detection is critical to lung cancer survival. The majority of cases are diagnosed after the disease has spread to distant areas, and the 5-year survival rate is 4% for those with advanced cases. The 5-year survival rate reaches 55-75% if it’s detected early, when the tumor is still localized.
In acknowledgement of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, The American Cancer Society promotes the Great American Smokeout, which encourages people to kick their tobacco habit. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits at any age. While quitting can be a difficult endeavor, receiving help and encouragement can double or triple success. Lend a hand to someone trying to quit and show support!
One of the best eating days of the year falls in November, so it makes sense to designate this month as Stomach Cancer Awareness Month. Lots of focus this time of year centers on food, and that can be challenging for people dealing with stomach cancer and for those living without a stomach.
It’s currently estimated that more than 10,000 people will die from stomach cancer this year and more than 26,000 will be diagnosed. While instances of stomach cancer are decreasing in the US, it remains one of the most common cancer types worldwide.
The goals of stomach cancer awareness include educating the public on stomach cancer risk factors (tobacco, diet, obesity), recognizing the need for additional funding and research into early diagnosis and treatment, and raising funds for research.
Pancreatic cancer is a growing problem, as it’s expected to become the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related death in the country by the year 2030. It has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers, as 93% of pancreatic cancer patients perish within five years of diagnosis. Despite such dire statistics, many people lack knowledge about the disease.
Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month aims to provide more awareness and understanding about the illness among the public, medical community, and government.
Take the time this month to learn something new about these cancers. You can join discussions on social media centering on the diseases by using #LCAM for lung cancer, #NoStomachForCancer for stomach cancer, and #TurnItPurple for pancreatic cancer.