November marks National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a critical time to address the pressing issue of lung cancer in the veteran community. Lung Cancer Foundation of America proudly announces “Breath of Honor: Lung Cancer Screening for Veterans,” a groundbreaking national public education and awareness campaign designed to reach veterans across the United States.

Lung cancer poses a significant threat to our brave veterans, who have selflessly served our country. These military warriors know the value of preparedness, and that’s precisely what this campaign is all about – preparing veterans to combat lung cancer through education and early detection.

Lung cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for more deaths than breast, prostate, and colon cancer combined. Shockingly, federal funding for lung cancer research is disproportionately lower compared to other common cancers, emphasizing the urgent need for awareness and support.

Veterans face an elevated risk of developing lung cancer due to exposure to environmental hazards and occupational risks during their service. As a result, the incidence of lung cancer among veterans is significantly higher than in the general population. This fact necessitates increased awareness and targeted prevention efforts.

“Nearly 8,000 veterans are diagnosed and treated by the Veterans Administration Hospital System (VA) for lung cancer each year, but that is only a fraction of the estimated 1.5M who are eligible for lung screening with annual low-dose chest CT scans,” says Dr. Drew Moghanaki, Chief of Thoracic Surgery in the UCLA Department of Radiation Oncology and Co-Director of Los Angeles VA Lung Precision Oncology Program. “These scans are simple, painless, and effective; they have shown to be the most effective way to detect lung cancer.”

Fortunately, the Veterans Administration Hospital System (VA) has taken decisive steps to improve lung cancer treatment among veterans. The VA has invested in cutting-edge technology, including state-of-the-art lung cancer screening programs that employ low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans to detect lung cancer in its earliest stages. Early detection is pivotal for successful treatment, and the VA’s screening program has benefitted many veterans by providing timely diagnosis and treatment.

In addition to advanced screening technology, the VA Hospital System has established specialized cancer centers nationwide, offering veterans access to cutting-edge cancer treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy. Furthermore, the VA has created a Lung Cancer Registry to collect data on veterans with a history of lung cancer, assisting researchers in developing new treatments for the disease. Medicare and most major insurance companies now cover lung cancer screening as well.

Lung Cancer Foundation of America stands committed to supporting research and initiatives that enhance the lives of veterans affected by lung cancer, ensuring they receive the care and attention they deserve.

“Breath of Honor: Lung Cancer Screening for Veterans” aims to empower veterans to take control of their lung health. This campaign offers veterans the support, information, and resources they need to safeguard their well-being as they transition to post-military life. We invite veterans to visit or to see if they qualify for screening.

This National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, let us stand together to support our veterans in their battle against lung cancer. Breath of Honor is our shared call to arms. Join us in the fight for lung cancer early detection and improved care for our veterans.

Diane Mulligan | PR Contact
Lung Cancer Foundation of America