CPF, ATS and health groups launch campaign to raise awareness on lung health

The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) announced today it is joining with the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and lung health organizations around the globe for 2010: The Year of the Lung, a multi-faceted campaign that aims to raise awareness about the importance of lung health, generate social and political support for preventing and treating lung disease and encouraging increased public and private funding for lung disease research and development.

The CPF was asked by ATS to serve on the Year of the Lung committee and will work in partnership with the ATS and other global organizations during the 12-month campaign.

Led by the American Thoracic Society and the Forum of International Respiratory Societies, 2010: The Year of the Lung is a global effort to unite health advocates in the field behind a single purpose: to convey the urgency of the threat lung disease poses to the public's health and galvanize support that will make a difference in hundreds of millions of lives by developing new prevention strategies and treatments.

The CPF represents the 128,000 people who suffer from Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF), an untreatable and terminal lung disease that causes relentless and progressive scarring of the lungs. The disease has no FDA-approved treatment, no known cause and no cure, and claims 40,000 lives each year, the same number as claimed by breast cancer.

"We are thrilled to participate in this worldwide effort to unify the voices of lung health organizations and patient organizations to change public perceptions of lung disease and help to increase attention and research funding so lives can be saved," said Mishka Michon, Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis. "It is our hope that the year's effort will drive home the urgency of the need for expanded investment in treating lung diseases, which has not been a priority for the federal government."

With hundreds of millions of people suffering each year from lung disease, raising awareness about the importance of lung health is critical - there is a huge need to transform the way people think about and treat their lungs. Heart disease and most forms of cancer have benefited from increases in public awareness and have seen more treatments developed and more lives saved, as a result. Lung health has long been neglected in public discourse, and rates of people affected by lung disease, including PF, are increasing at an alarming rate globally.

2010: The Year of the Lung is a call to action to policy makers, donors and researchers for increased awareness of lung disease while reducing the stigma associated with it, increased funding for lung health R&D by the public and private sector, and improvement in diagnosis time and treatment outcomes for lung disease patients. For more information, please visit: www.2010yearofthelung.org.

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