As November draws to a close, so does Lung Cancer Awareness Month, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about this devastating cancer that affects hundreds of thousands of people annually. For a cancer than claims more lives than breast, colon, and prostate cancer combined, it is severely underfunded, leaving scientists and researchers reliant on private funding and donations. Funding for lung cancer, as with many other cancers, plays a critical role in developing and investigating research that could eventually lead to a cure.
Donating to cancer research is not just about the race to find a cure, but to also understand the disease itself. Determining risk factors – such as diet – for cancer is a preventative measure that scientists can provide for us, but research is still needed to determine what other instances can contribute to the development of lung cancer. We know that smokers have a higher chance of developing lung cancer than non-smokers, but there are many instances where fit, active, and relatively healthy non-smokers are still diagnosed with the disease.
In the early stages of investigating a new treatment, biomarker, surgical technique, or risk factor, funding is mostly reliant upon research charities, because pharmaceutical companies won’t profit from early research that could potentially have a negative outcome. However, the initial stages of research are critical in laying the groundwork for future investigations and trials, as many experiments are compounded on one another.
Where Can I Donate?
There are many organizations that will accept donations for cancer. Here are just a few that are dedicated to raising awareness and committed to finding a cure for specifically lung cancer.
Other Ways to Contribute
Not everyone has the financial means to contribute to various cancer organizations, but that doesn’t mean you are unable to help! Volunteering at a facility, donating tissue, or participating in a research study are all effective ways to contribute to the cause and aid scientists in their research.
Asbestos and Lung Cancer
One of the contributing factors to lung cancer is exposure to asbestos. For decades, this popular building material was used in households, major construction sites, shipyards, steel mills, chemical plants, textile factories, and within the military. Families of workers who handled this carcinogen can be at risk of bystander exposure, as the nearly invisible and sharp fibers become airborne and easily transferred into homes. Workers were not always informed they were working with asbestos and for decades companies knew about the dangers of the material but downplayed and ignored the issue. It wasn’t until a series of lawsuits in the 1970s that companies were forced to admit their responsibility.
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