American Lung Association: Keeping your lungs healthy

Individual photos courtesy of vrysxy/flickr, Adam Piontek/flickr, DrivingtheNortheast/flickr, American Lung Association (All rights reserved on this collage image for exclusive use by Laurie Edwards-Tate)

SAN DIEGO, January 26, 2016 —Since 1904, the American Lung Association has raised national awareness significantly in the fight against lung disease.

First battling tuberculosis and then later discovering the gene causing cystic fibrosis, the American Lung Association is also responsible for leading the charge in creating the enactment of smoke-free laws, currently in 27 states.

“People with lung disease have difficulty breathing…millions of people in the U.S. have lung disease,” according to National Institutes of Health, published in MedLine Plus.

As a California Charter member of the American Lung Association, San Diego’s local office is a shining example of the overall national effort.

Photo courtesy of Maria Grazia Montagnari/flickr
Photo courtesy of Maria Grazia Montagnari/flickr

For over 40 years the San Diego office has been engaged in utilizing its resources to promote lung health using the dollars they’ve raised through development efforts, which then further their current top priority goals, research, education and advocacy.

“The American Lung Association has a mission to promote lung health and prevent lung disease,” explains Janelle Wallace, MPA, San Diego’s Development Manager, Corporate division in an interview.

Wallace continues to explain a phenomenon which may not be widely known, “Lung Cancer is the number one cancer killer among men and women…2/3 of those diagnosed with lung cancer did not smoke or are former smokers.”


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Since 1987, the American Lung Association speculates that lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths in women.

In fact, they go on to say that it causes more deaths than colorectal, breast and prostate cancers combined, with an estimated American death rate of 158,000 in 2015.

Smoking is the major risk for developing lung cancer, followed by exposure to second-hand smoke.

There are a variety of additional risk factors according to

  • Exposure to asbestos
  • Exposure to environmental toxins
  • Familial predisposition
  • Aging

Symptoms for developing lung cancer could be a persistent dry cough, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood.

To determine if any peculiar symptoms might be indicative of lung cancer, immediately contact a qualified health care provider.

The American Lung Association offers Ask an Expert, a national help line seven days a week at 1-800-501-1068 and TTY at 1-800-501-1068.

They can also be reached via their website at

According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, published in, approximately one out of every 14 men and women will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime.

The American Lung Association estimates the 5-year survival rate for lung cancer is approximately 17.8 percent, compared to 65.4 percent for colon cancer, 90.5 percent for breast cancer, and 99.6 percent for prostate cancer.

In San Diego’s local office of the American Lung Association, there is excitement for their upcoming 2016 fundraising platform, which presents an opportunity to raise badly needed funds to support their priority goals.

  1. April 10, 2016: Flight for Air Climb, One America Plaza, Downtown San Diego
  2. Early June, 2016 (date to be announced): Lung Force Gala
  3. Early November, 2016 (date to be announced): Lung Force Walk, Embarcadero Marina, San Diego

Stay tuned for more information and the opportunity to have a whole lot of fun while making a difference in the lives of those affected by lung disease.

For further information contact: Teresa Contreras by phone at 619-683-8650 or via email at [email protected].

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 32 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.

In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.

Copyright © 2016 by At Your Home Familycare

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Laurie Edwards-Tate
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California, was among the first to recognize the growing need for services allowing individuals to remain independent created by the aging of America including the Baby Boomer generation, now being called the “Silver Tsunami.” It is the Baby Boomers who are rapidly redefining what aging and growing older means and looks like in America today. Now celebrating its 28th year in business, AYHF is among San Diego County’s Top Women-Owned Businesses and Fastest Growing Businesses, and enjoys a reputation for upholding the highest possible standards among its employees and its emphasis on customer service. Edwards-Tate is a valued contributor to the public dialogue on current issues and challenges in the home care industry, and serves in leadership roles on the Home Care Aide Association of America Advisory Board and Private Duty Home Care Association Advisory Board, as well as the Home Care Aide Steering Committee of the California Association for Health Services at Home. Edwards-Tate is frequently interviewed in the media on healthy aging, caregiving, and health care topics. Follow Laurie and AYHF at; on Facebook at, and Twitter at @AYHFamilycare