DUBLIN OH – Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both women and men, and according to the American Lung Association, the new availability of lung cancer screening for those considered at high risk can save thousands of lives. To educate the public about this breakthrough, the American Lung Association and the Ad Council launched the first-of-its-kind public service announcement campaign, “Saved By The Scan,” today on World Lung Cancer Day.
“Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cause of cancer deaths, and here in Ohio, an estimated 10,660 persons will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017 alone,” said Patricia Volz, vice president of communication for the American Lung Association locally. “To save lives, lung cancer screening for individuals at high risk is truly the breakthrough we need in Ohio and across the nation. Lung cancer screening is so promising because it allows us to diagnose the disease in the early stages when it is more curable.”
The American Lung Association encourages the estimated 9 million people in the U.S. who are at high risk for lung cancer to consult with their doctor about getting screened. Individuals at high risk are: anyone aged 55-80 who has a smoking history of 30 “pack years” (1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs for 15 years, or any combination of years and packs that equals 30) and is either still a smoker or has quit in the last 15 years.
Individuals who may be at high risk are encouraged to visit SavedByTheScan.org, to take the lung cancer screening eligibility quiz and find additional information about how to speak to their doctor about their risk and screening.
“Smoking is a serious addiction, and 46% percent of the population in Ohio are current or former smokers,” Volz said. “We encourage everyone to take steps to improve their health, which means not only quitting smoking but to also learn more about your risk and speak to your doctor about screening, whether you’re a current or former smoker.”
The “Saved By The Scan” campaign focuses on former smokers who often do not receive counseling on lung cancer screening from their doctors, even though they may be eligible for this lifesaving screening. The television spot features a former smoker climbing to the top of a vast mountain of cigarettes and ash, which is symbolic of the effort it took to quit smoking. After conquering the addiction, the former smoker is encouraged to take the extra step to get screened for lung cancer with the tagline, “You stopped smoking. Now start screening.” Academy-Award nominee Rodrigo Prieto, the cinematographer behind “Silence,” “Babel,” “Argo” and “Brokeback Mountain,” shot the creative.
The American Lung Association launched this new campaign through its LUNG FORCE initiative, a national movement to defeat lung cancer, the leading cancer killer of women and men. LUNG FORCE has three priorities: make lung cancer a cause that people care about and act on, educate and empower patients and healthcare providers, and raise critical funds for lung cancer research.
“Through this campaign, we hope to empower and motivate former and current smokers to advocate for themselves and learn more about whether lung cancer screening is right for them,” Volz said. “We have a powerful opportunity to save lives with the new availability of screening for those at high risk, and I hope that this campaign will build conversations in communities throughout Ohio about screening and encourage action.”