CHESTPress ReleasesWorld Lung Cancer Day 2022

Lung health associations encourage global awareness and early detection for World Lung Cancer Day

Glenview, IL - In support of World Lung Cancer Day on August 1, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), of which the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) is a founding member, stresses the importance of symptom awareness and early detection to diagnose and treat lung cancer.

While lung cancer is not the most prevalent cancer (second to breast cancer), it is the most common cause of cancer death. With more than 2.2 million new cases of lung cancer in 2020 and 1.8 million deaths, globally, lung cancer is responsible for 1 in 4 cancer deaths. According to the World Health Organization, lung cancer kills more people yearly than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.

“World Lung Cancer Day is an opportunity for the members of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies to collectively bring increased symptom awareness to not only lung cancer but to lung health in general,” says Alexandra Alexandropoulou, Deputy Director for the Forum of International Respiratory Societies. “Knowing the signs of lung disease—lung cancer, COPD, asthma, TB, infection, etc. —will help lead to proactive health care visits, earlier testing, more timely diagnoses and overall reduced global mortality.”

To recognize lung cancer earlier, it is crucial to be aware of the symptoms. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:

  • A cough that does not go away or gets worse

  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm)

  • Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing or laughing

  • Hoarseness

  • Loss of appetite

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Shortness of breath

  • Feeling tired or weak

  • Recurring infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia

  • New onset of wheezing

In addition to knowing the signs of lung cancer, equitable access to screening options worldwide is vital for reducing lung cancer deaths through early detection and treatment.

“The earlier lung cancer is diagnosed, the quicker treatments can begin and the less likely it is to spread,” says CHEST President David Schulman, MD, MPH, FCCP. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, health care providers saw more and more individuals delaying routine care out of precaution. The truth is that delayed care can have devastating effects when treating lung diseases like lung cancer.”

To identify and diagnose lung cancer in its earlier stages, it is recommended to seek lung cancer screening with a low-dose tomography (also known as low-dose CT or LDCT) where available. If the individual is an eligible smoker or a former smoker, lung cancer screening is recommended even if they are not experiencing any signs or symptoms.

A complete list of recommended guidelines for lung cancer screening, “Screening for Lung Cancer: CHEST Guideline and Expert Panel Report,” can be read through the journal CHEST®.

About the Forum of International Respiratory Societies
The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is an organisation comprised of the world's leading international respiratory societies working together to improve lung health globally. The goal of FIRS is to unify and enhance efforts to improve lung health through the combined work of its more than 70,000 members globally.

FIRS comprises the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), American Thoracic Society (ATS), the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR), Asociación Latinoamericana de Tórax (ALAT), European Respiratory Society (ERS), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS), the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD).

About the American College of Chest Physicians
The American College of Chest Physicians® (CHEST) is the global leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chest diseases. Its mission is to champion advanced clinical practice, education, communication and research in chest medicine. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 19,000+ members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. For information about the American College of Chest Physicians, and its flagship journal CHEST®, visit chestnet.org .