November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

- November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. To raise awareness and funds for an all new children's cancer support group, the Lung Cancer Alliance Pennsylvania Chapter recently held a Laps For Lung Cancer at The Mall at Steamtown. The event proved very successful, offering a mall walk, basket raffles, candy bar and Plumpy's Pierogies coupon sale, along with lung cancer information given freely to those who stopped to chat. Bob Ross of Mike Waltons Productions volunteered his time, providing music and entertainment throughout the session. When stopping to join in the festivities at Center Court, many mall patrons were surprised to learn facts about lung cancer. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer among men and women, yet it is severely underfunded. The new children's therapy/support group will be the first in NEPA to help any child affected by any cancer of a loved one. Watching a loved one deal with the affects of cancer is not easy for anyone, never mind a child. Understanding cancer is difficult for an adult. Children many times need an ear of a friend who is also coping with a loved one sick or passing. The therapy/support group will be held at The Commonwealth Medical College and is set to begin in the winter of 2014. The therapy/support will be at no cost to the family. Different outlets will be available, for example: music, art, drama. In addition to the event at The Mall at Steamtown, the LCA PA Chapter will be hosted by St. George's during the Jessup Art Loop on November 9 from 1:00-6:00 pm, along with Timmy Walsh's Camera For A Cure and Marie Smith showing her original oil paintings. Nov. 14 brings the Lung Cancer Shine A Light on Lung Cancer Vigil, hosted by Lung Cancer Alliance PA Chapter. The event will be held at Center Court of The Mall at Steamtown, Lackawanna Ave., Scranton, beginning at 7 p.m. The event is free and registration is encouraged. Glow sticks will be given to all participants. Photos of loved ones affected by or lost to lung cancer will be featured. Information and registration can be found at The feeling in the general public is that lung cancer is a self-inflicted disease. Many cancers, and other chronic diseases, are related to lifestyle choices. Many diseases that are attributed to poor lifestyle choices also affect those who have not made those same choices. Of course, smoking is a major risk factor for lung cancer. Smoking is responsible for 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer. However, smoking is also a factor in breast cancer. Twice as many women die from lung cancer in the United States each year as die from breast cancer, and 20 percent of these women are never smokers and have never touched a cigarette. Even though lung cancer kills more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer combined, federal funding does not show funding for the severity of this disease. Funding from the private sector also pales in comparison to fund-raising efforts for other cancers. Lung cancer is the second leading killer, second to heart disease. Not cancer in general, the second leading killer is listed as lung cancer. Many physicians are also lacking knowledge of lung cancer. Many lung cancer cases are not sent to oncology for treatment. They are sent for maintaining the disease. Lung cancer has a 16 percent five year survival rate. The LCA is currently attempting to have more screening done for not only high risk patients, but regular screening that has proven success from other cancers. Breast and prostate cancer have both been reduced after widely used and accepted screening. The simple fact is: If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer. More information on the LCA can be found at A lung cancer support group is held monthly at the Center for Comprehensive Cancer Care located at 5 Morgan Highway, Scranton, on the first Wednesday of each month, 6:30.