Press Release: Experts, Survivors, Advocates Kick Off Awareness Campaign

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Several advocacy organizations, cancer survivors and experts came together in the nation’s capital today to take a stand and draw attention to an often ignored and misunderstood disease.

“We don’t want to be number one,” says lung cancer survivor Dusty Donaldson of the Lung Cancer Action Network, “but we are. And, yet, even though we are the number one cancer killer in the U.S. and worldwide—of both men and women—the public is embarrassingly ignorant about this disease.”

Results of the “Know Cancer” national survey of 2,026 adults in the U.S. were released at the National Press Club in Washington, DC today at the Lung Cancer Awareness Month Kickoff & Panel Discussions. Additionally, two panels of renowned experts, advocates and survivors addressed—from historical and forward-looking perspectives—lung cancer advocacy and scientific breakthroughs.

The survey revealed that the public is utterly misinformed about lung cancer. Below are survey highlights.

For far too long, people at risk for lung cancer have been unaware of screening and shunned by the stigma of lung cancer.

“Yes, the reality of this disease is harsh,” says Donaldson, “however, thanks to research, we now have more tools than ever to catch it early and treat it more effectively. Those at high risk need to know that screening is available. Our message is hope.”

Moderated by Donaldson, panelists included Paul Billings, American Lung Association; Andrew Ciupek, PhD., Lung Cancer Alliance; Chris Draft, Chris Draft Family Foundation; Hildy Grossman, PhD., Upstage Lung Cancer; Kyle Hoylman, Cancer Survivors Against Radon; Lauren Humphries, LUNGevity; Montessa Lee, Educator and Author; Kimberly Lester, Lung Cancer Action Network; Gloria Linnertz, Citizens for Radioactive Radon Reduction; Kristin Richeimer, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer; Robert Smith, PhD., American Cancer Society, National Lung Cancer Roundtable; and Jamie Studts, PhD., University of Kentucky College of Medicine.

In addition to launching Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the purpose of the event was to inform the public that anyone can get lung cancer, share recent promising scientific advancements, underscore hope and diminish the stigma of lung cancer. For more information about the collaborative Lung Cancer Awareness Month campaign, visit For more information about the Know Cancer survey, visit

Lung Cancer Facts

Drawing by Hey Paul Studios

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