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Wisconsin Gears Up for National Women’s Lung Health Week

Photo: Turquoise Takeover is a part of National Women's Lung Health Week, the second week in May. The American Lung Association uses the color turquoise, as seen here on the hands of these volunteers, to help bring awareness to the fact that lung cancer kills more women than the next three cancers combined. Many Wisconsin buildings and landmarks will be illuminated in turquoise this week to help draw attention to the need for research funding to beat lung cancer. Photo credit: ALA of Wisconsin
Photo: Turquoise Takeover is a part of National Women's Lung Health Week, the second week in May. The American Lung Association uses the color turquoise, as seen here on the hands of these volunteers, to help bring awareness to the fact that lung cancer kills more women than the next three cancers combined. Many Wisconsin buildings and landmarks will be illuminated in turquoise this week to help draw attention to the need for research funding to beat lung cancer. Photo credit: ALA of Wisconsin
May 11, 2015

NEW BERLIN, Wis. – The second full week in May is National Women's Lung Health Week.

Kim Schmidt is a member of the American Lung Association in Wisconsin's Leadership Board and chair of the Lung Force Women's Cabinet. She says people don't realize what a horrible killer lung cancer is. Lung cancer kills more women than the next three cancers combined.

Schmidt says another fact that shocks many people is that two-thirds of lung cancer victims never smoked or are former smokers.

"It was in 1987 that lung cancer actually surpassed breast cancer as the leading cancer killer among women in the U.S.,” she points out. “And the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is only 17 percent, which is the lowest among all types of cancers."

According to Schmidt, the rate of new lung cancer cases in women has doubled over the last 35 years, and every five minutes a woman in the U.S. is told she has lung cancer.

Schmidt says there will be many events in the coming week to help raise awareness of these grim statistics, but another important goal is to raise money for research.

"Funding for lung cancer research lags far behind other major causes of death in the U.S," she stresses.

Schmidt says people can learn more about events for National Women's Lung Health Week and how to contribute toward research at www.LungForce.org or by calling 1-800-LUNG-USA.

One of the awareness-raising aspects of National Women's Lung Health Week is called turquoise takeover, where Lung Force encourages the wearing of turquoise, using turquoise on social media and illuminating buildings and landmarks in turquoise.

Schmidt says there's a long list of Wisconsin landmarks that will be lit up in turquoise this week.

"The Marquette Interchange” she says. “In Madison, the Governor's Residence, the Mitchell Park Domes, the FedEx SmartPost corporate office, the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino – the top level of that – the light on top of the U.S. Bank Building in downtown Milwaukee."

Schmidt says the turquoise takeover is one way to make lung cancer a cause people care about, and to help increase research funding, which will ultimately save lives.


Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI