By Allison Perry, UK Now
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer (formerly known as Lung Cancer Alliance and the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation) is conducting a statewide education campaign in partnership with the University of Kentucky to bring lung cancer screening awareness to the thousands of Kentuckians at risk for the disease. The campaign stems from the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative (Lung Cancer, Education, Awareness, Detection, Survivorship), a project led by UK, University of Louisville, and the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer.
As part of the Kentucky LEADS effort to reduce lung cancer in the state, educational ads are airing in cable television markets throughout the state, urging current and former heavy smokers 55 years and older to talk to a clinician about lung cancer screening. It is also being shared via social media. The ad, Live More Moments, stresses the importance of early detection in increasing survivorship and leads viewers to a custom website that provides a list of hospitals that conduct responsible screenings.
“Kentucky has the highest incidence of lung cancer diagnosis and mortality in the country, and we have been working diligently with our Kentucky LEADS partners over the past four years to reverse this statistic and save lives,” said Laurie Fenton-Ambrose, co-founder, president and CEO of the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer. UK and UofL join the GO2Foundation in guiding the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative that includes scientists, clinicians, advocates, and community partners from more than 50 organizations throughout the state. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation provides support for the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative with a multi-year grant.
The Kentucky LEADS mission is to reduce the burden of lung cancer in Kentucky and beyond through the development, evaluation, and dissemination of innovative, community-based interventions that focus on three key components: prevention and early detection, provider education, and survivorship care.
“Screening education and awareness are critical parts of the effort to reverse Kentucky’s substantial lung cancer burden, and Kentucky LEADS messaging is that screening is available for those at risk and could save their life or that of a loved one,” said Jamie Studts, Ph.D., principal investigator of the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative and professor in UK’s College of Medicine Department of Behavioral Science and the UK Markey Cancer Center.
In addition to supporting lung cancer screening efforts, Kentucky LEADS has developed continuing education programming for primary care clinicians stressing early detection, diagnosis and treatment, tobacco treatment, and survivorship. Kentucky LEADS has also developed and tested a new lung cancer survivorship program that works with local survivorship care specialists to help improve quality of life among individuals diagnosed with lung cancer patient. For more information visit kentuckyleads.org.