Mayor Teri Johnston and the City Commission have proclaimed the month of November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States, accounting for more deaths than colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer combined. The 5-year survival rate for localized lung cancer is less than 60 percent, yet fewer than 24 percent of lung cancers are diagnosed at this stage. Screening for lung cancer for high-risk individuals can lead to earlier detection and save lives.
Funding for lung cancer research trials falls far behind funding for research of many other cancers, according to the proclamation, and additional research is needed in early diagnosis, screening, and treatment.
Each year more women die from lung cancer than breast cancer; by 2035, more women will die from lung cancer than men. In addition, the proclamation notes, "African Americans have the highest lung cancer incidence and mortality of all races, and disparities in lung cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and mortality are characterized among African Americans and other racial minorities."
Additionally, the proportion of lung cancers diagnosed in people who never smoked is increasing in the US. Smoking remains the leading cause of lung cancer deaths, and radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among individuals who never smoked.
"Organizations working in Monroe County and Florida, such as the American Lung Cancer Screening Initiative and Women's Lung Cancer Forum, are committed to educating about lung cancer and lung cancer screening and working to increase lung cancer screening rates in Key West."
Monroe County Judge Peary Fowler, President of the Lions Club, and Mechelle Burgohy, Senior Human Services Program Specialist with the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County, accepted the proclamation.
In the photo from L to R: Commissioners Gregory Davila, Jimmy Weekley, and Mary Lou Hoover (at the dais), Mayor Teri Johnston, the Health Department's Mechelle Burgohy, Judge Peary Fowler, Vice-Mayor Sam Kaufman, and Commissioners Billy Wardlow and Clayton Lopez.