Categorized | Editorial

Local Perspective: EDITORIAL

Lung Cancer Awareness


Stephanie Márquez-Villafañe

On November 4th, 2017, the 3rd Annual Lung Cancer Awareness Month Flag Raising took place in Perth Amboy. Governor Chris Christie sent a proclamation to United Messengers of Peace (UMoP) Founder, Stephanie Márquez-Villafañe recognizing November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Although the month of November is ending this week, lung cancer research remains underfunded.

Let’s not forget how devastating this disease is.


Lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) is the second most common cancer in both men and women (not counting skin cancer). In men, prostate cancer is more common, while in women breast cancer is more common. About 14% of all new cancers are lung cancers.

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for lung cancer in the United States for 2017 are:

• About 222,500 new cases of lung cancer (116,990 in men and 105,510 in women)

• About 155,870 deaths from lung cancer (84,590 in men and 71,280 in women)

Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women; about 1 out of 4 cancer deaths are from lung cancer. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.

Lung cancer mainly occurs in older people. About 2 out of 3 people diagnosed with lung cancer are 65 or older, while less than 2% are younger than 45. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 70.

Lung Cancer Awareness Flag

Some Symptoms to be aware of are:

1. Persistent Cough or Hoarseness

2. Shortness of Breath

3. Weight loss and loss of appetite

4. Chest Pain

5. Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum

6. Feeling tired or weak

7. Reoccurring bronchitis or pneumonia

Besides having a flag raising in Perth Amboy, the UMoP had a flag raising in New Brunswick.

We applaud Stephanie and her mother, Nilda for taking the loss of a loved one to bring awareness to help others. We believe because of them, they may have saved lives.

Here’s a reminder:

From Lung cancer’s five-year survival rates have hovered around 15 percent for the past four decades, while survival rates for most other cancers have climbed. Ninety-nine percent of prostate cancer patients and 89 percent of breast cancer patients now live at least five years past diagnosis.

Please join Stephanie  and the UMoP in this fight.

C.M. & K.M

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