Lungs. They’re Right Under Your Boobs! (Celebrating Lung Cancer Awareness Month)

Lung-Cancer-ribbon-white-or-clearDo you know the color of the lung cancer awareness ribbon? No, you probably don’t. That’s a trick question, because the ribbon has no color — it’s clear. Yep, you read that right. Someone, somewhere decided that the best color to raise awareness for lung cancer was — invisible. Brilliant. I get it that it’s supposed to be a statement about how lung cancer is “invisible” because it’s hard to detect, and/or because the stigma makes many of us survivors keep quiet and fly under the radar. But, seriously — choosing something actually invisible to raise visibility? That feels like a prank, honestly. Well, at least you can rest assured that your donations to support lung cancer are not being squandered on a crack PR team.

So, good news: I made it through Pinktober, and now I’m rewarded with my own month. Get out your invisible ribbons because November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month! Woo Hoo! … What’s that? You hadn’t heard? Me either. This is the very first year I’ve ever been aware of Lung Cancer Awareness month, and it ain’t because the coverage has gotten better. We’re a quarter of the way through the month, and I haven’t seen a single peep in the media. Not one news story on TV or in the paper (yes, I’m a dinosaur and I still subscribe); not one invisible or white ribbon on a single product; not one request at a cash register if I want to donate to a lung cancer charity. Nothing. No. Thing. Not one single, dingle mention of it.

Kinda brutal, really. It hurts me as a survivor, obviously. But, it also hurts everyone. Any of us has a much higher likelihood of dying from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. Like, MUCH higher. Lung cancer kills more than the four next most deadly cancers combined, but receives a fraction of the funding. This isn’t a competition. I’m glad to see other causes get support. I’d just like lung cancer to get in on a little more of the action.

Maybe lung cancer advocates should consider taking a cue from the success achieved by breast cancer organizations. So many of the breast cancer campaigns are blatantly sexual: a national “go braless day,” Feel Your Boobies, Save Second Base, etc. Lung cancer could tart itself up a bit. If you can’t beat’em, join’em, right? How about: Lungs. They’re right under your boobs!