November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, an event that got its start twenty years ago with the introduction of a single day set aside to call attention to the ravages of the disease. As the movement grew, so did the number of associated activities, until the awareness campaigned evolved into a month-long campaign of educational programming, fundraising and community events.
What is Lung Cancer
Cancer is an umbrella term used to describe a number of different illnesses in which healthy cells mutate. In some cases the cells grow and divide into tumors within the body’s organs, eventually spreading to other parts of the body. Some cancers impact tissues and interfere with nearby organs’ ability to function properly. In some cases the cancer cells infiltrate the blood stream itself. There are a number of different types of lung cancer, largely broken into the two major categories of either non-small cell lung cancer or small cell lung cancer, but in all cases the cells that make up the body of the lungs begin to grow in an abnormal way.
If you or someone that you care about has been diagnosed with lung cancer, there are a lot of benefits to participating in Lung Cancer Awareness Month activities. Doing so creates a connection with other patients, caregivers and survivors of this challenging condition, and provides a sense of community and productivity. One of the biggest stressors that face those who have to deal with lung cancer on a day-to-day basis is their sense of isolation; another is the frustration of being surrounded by people who have so little background information on the disease, its many causes, or its prognosis. By getting involved in an event that can do so much good and educate so many people, participants gain a sense of accomplishment, belonging, and greater understanding.
There are a wide variety of national and local events that patients and caregivers alike can get involved in. Here are five of our favorites.
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