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Statewide lung cancer awareness campaign aims to save lives

The White House recently issued a Presidential Proclamation designating November 2022 as National Lung Cancer Awareness Month. President Biden called on the private sector to continue its search for new treatments and to share more data to improve patient outcomes.

By the numbers

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.

  • In South Carolina, almost 3,000 people die from the disease each year, according to SC DHEC.
  • In 2019, the CDC reported approximately 18% of SC adults were current smokers.
  • Men are nearly twice as likely to get lung cancer and die from it than women, according to SC DHEC.

Why it matters

Lung cancer symptoms vary for every patient. Most people with lung cancer don’t have symptoms until the disease is advanced, and lung cancer is one of the most diagnosed cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.

  • A CT scan can detect the disease early, often while it is still treatable.
  • People who have a history of heavy smoking, currently smoke or have quit smoking within the past 15 years and are between 55 and 80 years old should have yearly screenings.
  • Those who detect lung cancer early have a 60% improved likelihood of survival over those who start treatment after the disease has spread.

Know Early SC

Karen Wickersham, assistant professor and core faculty of the Cancer Survivorship Research Center in the College of Nursing, has partnered with the S.C. Cancer Alliance to raise awareness of lung cancer screenings statewide.

  • Volunteers help develop messaging and content for a Lung Cancer Screening Awareness toolkit
  • The toolkit includes downloadable messaging and resources for HR professionals to share with their employees.

"I am so proud of the work our partnership has accomplished. This is a brand-new campaign that has already been adopted by a number of allies across South Carolina. We look forward to our continued work with the Alliance and state partners to be an ally for all to alleviate the burden of cancer in S.C.," says Wickersham.

The S.C. Cancer Alliance collaborated with multiple businesses and agencies for this initiative. 

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