Lung cancer awareness the focus of upcoming Springfield dinner program

There’s a form of cancer responsible for more annual deaths than colon, breast and prostate cancer combined, according to The American Cancer Society – lung cancer.

Tying in with Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the Mercy Health Springfield Regional Cancer Center will “Shine a Light on Lung Cancer” with a free dinner and discussion event, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Cancer Center, 148 W. North St.

The public is invited and reservations are requested.


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Dr. Soumya Neravetla, a cardiothoracic surgeon, and Dr. Daljeet Singh, a hematologist/oncologist, will be the guest speakers and lead the discussion.

The Springfield Regional Cancer Center had done smaller gatherings on the subject in the past, but with the recent launch of a lung cancer screening program, this seemed like a good time to build awareness, according to Chaundra Foss-Blizard, a clinical research nurse at the center.

“We wanted to ramp up the awareness this year and make it an event and try to break the stigma about lung cancer,” she said.

The stigma is related to the negative reactions some diagnosed with lung cancer may experience, including concern about giving the impression they must be a smoker. While still the leading cause, smoking is not the sole reason, Foss-Blizard said.

“A lot can be environmental – second-hand smoke, pesticides, toxins,” she said. “The unanimity of lung cancer and smoking supports the perception that the patient’s behavior caused the illness, which may not be the case.”

Foss-Blizzard said Clark County has high rates of lung, breast and colon cancer. Lung and bronchus cancer were the leading causes of cancer incidence and mortality from 2010-2014, accounting for 16.7 percent of cancer cases and 30.4 percent of cancer deaths, according to the Ohio Cancer Incidence Surveillance System and Bureau of Vital Statistics, Ohio Department of Health, 2017 study.

The doctors will discuss how to raise awareness about lung cancer and early detection, the local lung cancer screening program and the evolution of targeted cancer therapies that are now available to treat lung cancer.

Reservations for the “Shine a Light on Lung Cancer” event can be made at 937-323-3009. Those who don’t make reservations may also walk into the event that evening as well.

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