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Feb 04, 2015
Toronto, ON – Wednesday, February 4, is World Cancer Day, a timely reminder that lung cancer is the world’s deadliest cancer* and despite recent advances, remains a serious public health concern in Ontario.
Lung cancer is just one of many serious lung diseases affecting more than 2.4 million people in the province of Ontario. This number is projected to rise to 3.6 million in the next 30 years. In 2011, the economic burden of lung disease was estimated at $4 billion and will steadily increase to more than $300 billion in the same timeframe. To ease this life and economic burden, the Ontario Lung Association is working with stakeholders to identify and fill gaps in care and service, and is calling upon the government to establish a Lung Health Action plan.
A particular area of need is related to lung cancer – sadly, one of the most highly stigmatized diseases. There are significant gaps in lung cancer care that need to be addressed through increased awareness, public education, earlier diagnosis, and strengthened communication among health-care providers. In 2014, the Ontario Lung Association and the Ontario Thoracic Society hosted a Lung Cancer Summit that brought together a select group of experts and leaders working in the fields of respiratory health, oncology and thoracic surgery as well as other relevant stakeholders to start the dialogue needed to improve early detection and treatment of lung cancer.
In recognition of World Cancer Day, the Ontario Lung Association is releasing the final summary report from the Summit here, and encouraging patients, family members and health-care providers to join our efforts in improving lung cancer care in this province. As Joseph Neale, singer and lung health champion says “As a lung cancer survivor, I feel a responsibility to speak up for better detection and treatment of this terrible disease.”
For information on lung health issues, phone the Lung Health Information Line at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The time is now to work collaboratively on improving lung health in Ontario. We ask every individual in Ontario who breathes to support our efforts, and send a message to their MPP. By going to www.lunghealthact.ca you can enter your name and postal code and a letter will automatically be sent to your own MPP, asking for support the Lung Health Act, legislation to establish a Lung Health Action Plan.