The Big Check Up - 'Lets Change How We See Lung Cancer'
More people die from lung cancer in Ireland than any other type of cancer, it’s the biggest cancer killer causing more deaths than breast and prostate cancer put together all over the world. Every 18 seconds, someone, somewhere in the world dies of lung cancer. However, new research released November 1st 2023 by the Marie Keating Foundation shows only 5% of Irish people are aware that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths among women, while just 20% know that it is the cancer that claims the most lives among men. Read key stats from this research HERE
It doesn’t have to be this way and this year, as we kick off Lung Cancer Awareness month, we are calling on the Government, stakeholders, and the public to ‘change how we see lung cancer’.
As part of this years ‘Big Check Up 2023’ campaign, we have outlined a three-point action to support our call.
1) change how we see lung cancer, countering the misbelief that there are more dangerous cancers for both men and women and highlighting the fact that lung cancer still claims more lives than any other cancer.
2) raise lung cancer symptom awareness, harnessing the use of innovative, specially developed, new mobile technology in partnership with Snapchat, to spotlight symptoms and urge people to get checked. Filtering Out Lung Cancer. Check out how it works by downloading our How to Guide and watch it in action on our video HERE
3) renew pressure on the Government to introduce a National Lung Cancer Screening programme, similar to breast, bowel and cervical cancer screening, to help save lives. Sign our petition launched last year HERE
Five years ago, we carried out research into public attitudes and awareness around lung cancer as part of our "I Am Lung Cancer" campaign and sadly, very little has changed in that time as we have seen by repeating the research carried out by Empathy again this year.
In Ireland today, lung cancer death rates remain shockingly high, largely due to late diagnosis, while symptom awareness is alarmingly low, and a stigma persists in relation to lung cancer.
The time has come to change how people see lung cancer, to raise public awareness and encourage those with lung cancer signs and symptoms to get checked, because early detection, combined with all of the new treatments available, significantly improves chances of positive outcomes.
Read our full press release HERE
Facts about Lung Cancer:
- 2,690 Irish people every year will receive the devastating news of a lung cancer diagnosis.
- Lung cancer is currently the biggest cancer killer in Ireland
- Just 24% of people will be alive 5 years after a lung cancer diagnosis.
- Lung cancer is the fourth most common in Ireland after prostate, breast and colorectal but is Ireland’s biggest cancer killer
- Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both sexes, accounting for 19% of cancer deaths in women and 21% in men
- Cigarette smoking is responsible for most cases (85% to 90%) of lung cancer. Passive smoking and radon are also risk factors. Some 30% of heavy smokers develop lung cancer (when compared with only 1% of non-smokers). Genetic factors also influence susceptibility to the effects of smoking, and consequently, the risk of developing lung cancer.
Key symptoms of lung cancer:
- A cough lasting longer than three weeks
- Shortness of breath
- Ongoing chest infections
- Coughing up blood
- An ache or pain in the chest or shoulder
- Unexplained loss of appetite
- Unexplained tiredness (fatigue)
- Unexplained weight loss
Learn more here
Liz Yeates, CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation, said, “It’s been five years since we last carried out this significant research into public attitudes and awareness around lung cancer and very little has changed in that time. I’m deeply disappointed to say that in Ireland today, lung cancer death rates remain shockingly high, largely due to late diagnosis, while symptom awareness is alarmingly low and a stigma still persists in relation to lung cancer.
“The time has come to change how people see lung cancer, to raise public awareness and encourage those with lung cancer signs and symptoms to get checked, because early detection, combined with all of the new treatments available, significantly improves chances of positive outcomes.”
Supporting the campaign, Professor Jarushka Naidoo, Professor of Medical Oncology and Consultant Medical Oncologist at Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre, Lung Cancer Chair for Cancer Trials Ireland and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins University said:
“Early detection can save lives. When lung cancer is found at an earlier stage, there is a better chance of the ability to deliver treatments with the intent of cure. We have seen an explosion of new treatment options for patients with lung cancer. We need to give patients a chance to receive these therapies, by identifying lung cancer earlier, and more able to tolerate treatment. Evidence from other countries shows that early detection programmes can pick up lung cancer early, and result in improved patient outcomes.”
Our ambassadors have shared their stories to raise awareness and 'Change How We See Lung Cancer'.
To read each of their stories in full, click the images below and learn about Marina, Ted, Susan and Johnny's varied experiences with Lung Cancer.
The Big Check Up to help change how we see lung cancer also harnesses mobile technology. The Marie Keating Foundation partnered with mobile messaging app Snapchat to develop a new screen filter highlighting key lung cancer signs and symptoms. When used, the new AR filter displays information on lung cancer indicators to watch out for. We invite users to encourage anyone they know with possible symptoms, including a cough that lingers for more than three weeks, to get checked. Learn more by downloading our How to Guide or watching the filter in action HERE
Following on from the success of this partnership the Marie Keating Foundation joined forces with Instagram to launch 'Filter Out Lung Cancer' Live on their platform. This AR filter is one of the first of its kind and we are incredibly excited that it will remain live on Instagram to continue to raise awareness of lung cancer signs and symptoms beyond Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Click HERE to try the filter live on Instagram.
Talking Lung Cancer Podcast
This season of our podcast was created in 2021 with thanks to AstraZeneca and Pfizer.
Over four episodes, experts discuss lung cancer, warning signs, treatment options, and the impact a diagnosis can have on your life.
Lung Cancer-Information and Support
Information about lung cancer, the facts, signs and symptoms and support
Support our call for Lung Screening in Ireland
Join our call for government to implement a lung screening programme for those most a risk.