Lung Cancer Action Week: How Individuals Can Aid the Fight Against Lung Cancer


Pharmacists can raise awareness for lung cancer during and after Lung Cancer Action Week.

Each year, the American Lung Association celebrates LUNG FORCE, Lung Cancer Action Week, connected with Turquoise Takeover, to raise awareness of lung cancer, advance funds, and provide further research on prevention and early detection.1 This week (May 6- 12, 2024) marks the 10th anniversary of LUNG FORCE, which has raised over $30 million for lung cancer research.2

Doctor shows results to old patient x-ray of the lungs - Image credit: didesign |

Image credit: didesign |

The American Cancer Society estimates about 234,580 new cases of lung cancer and about 125,070 annual deaths. The study authors noted that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the US, accounting for 1 in 5 of all cancer-related deaths. Additionally, diagnoses are more common in adults 65 years and older, compared with individuals younger than 45.3

“Hearing the word ‘cancer’ is scary — hearing the diagnosis of lung cancer was terrifying,” said Nancy Smith, in a news release from the American Lung Association. Smith was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015 and declared cancer free in 2016.1

However, new diagnoses of lung cancer have decreased as further research has advanced early detection and treatment, along with a reduction in smoking, according to study authors.3 Researchers from the American Lung Association noted that the 5-year survival rate of lung cancer has increased by 40% in the past decade, also thanks to improved early detection from lung cancer screening and advancements in research. Since 2016, the FDA has approved 50 new lung cancer treatments that can improve outcomes.1

The annual Lung Cancer Action Week and Turquoise Takeover encourages individuals to share a selfie on social media wearing turquoise—the signature color of LUNG FORCE—and raise awareness for lung cancer by sharing their experiences with lung cancer. Additionally, the American Lung Association recommends 6 actions individuals can take this week to show support on efforts to end lung cancer, which include fundraising, donating, getting screened for lung cancer, testing homes for radon, and learning the current educational information on lung cancer.1

Individuals can also join a LUNG FORCE walk/run that honors the lives lost to lung cancer and uplifts individuals who need support.2

“I am grateful to the American Lung Association for continuing to raise awareness and advocate for early detection and better treatment options so we can all continue to live long and fulfilling lives. I will continue to advocate for other lung cancer survivors, and I think it is very important to mentor those who are a lot like me, moms who want to raise their children and not just survive but thrive,” said Smith, in a press release.1

Pharmacists also play a vital role in lung cancer advancements as they aid decision making around medication managements, specifically for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The pharmacist’s role can entail choosing appropriate medication regimens, helping patients manage costs, and examining financial assistance that can allow greater options for treatment.4

1. Lung Cancer Action Week: Lung Association Shares How Everyone Can Take Action to End Lung Cancer. American Lung Association. News release. May 9, 2023. Accessed May 6, 2024.
2. American Lung Association. LUNG FORCE. Accessed May 6, 2024.
3. Key Statistics for Lung Cancer. American Cancer Society. News release. January 29, 2024. Accessed May 6, 2024.'s%20estimates,men%20and%2059%2C280%20in%20women).
4. Pharmacists May See Patients With NSCLC More Often Than Other Care Team Members. Pharmacy Times. News release. February 15, 2024. Accessed May 6, 2024.
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