Letter to the Editor:
I have four daughters, all young adults now. But I still worry about their health and well-being as much as I did when they were living at home with me. Lately I have heard much about an alarming increase in the number of women diagnosed with lung disease. According to the American Lung Association, the rate of newly diagnosed lung cancer cases over the past 33 years has dropped for men (22 percent decrease) but has risen for women (106 percent increase).
As a woman with daughters, these statistics frighten me. They also make me wonder what I can do to stop this shocking trend.
Air pollution contributes significantly to the rising number of women living with lung disease. In fact, the World Health Organization recently declared that all outdoor air pollution is carcinogenic. And twenty percent of those diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked. Twenty percent. That number truly scares me. These people contract lung cancer through exposure to environmental factors, such as industrial pollution and second-hand smoke, which are seemingly beyond their control. We must do what we can to gain control over these elements.
And we can start by supporting our local chapter of the American Lung Association (ALA), an organization that advocates and fights for clean and healthy air in Pennsylvania. The ALA works hard on behalf of our lungs. Please help and do what you can. Our daughters’ health depends on our actions.