Lung Foundation Australia
The Lung Foundation Australia is thrilled to be a part of the ongoing success of the Breath of Life Festival. Exciting times are ahead for both the Festival and the Foundation. It is important that people value and look after their lungs from an early age. The Breath of Life festival provides an excellent platform for us to communicate this message to the youth of Tasmania. The Lung Foundation Australia will have a strong presence at the festival with many exciting activities being planned right now! Stay tuned for the latest updates and announcements.
About the Lung Foundation
The Lung Foundation is a national organisation which provides support to everyone in Australia with a lung disease. We exist to help those living with lung disease and their carers; to bring together the leaders in respiratory medicine within Australia; and to generate awareness about the importance of positive lung health within the community.
To ensure lung health is a priority for all in Australia. We achieve this through the provision of leadership, advocacy, information, support for research, patient and carer support, education and training and working with and through other organisations.
• Deliver a holistic approach to lung health by promoting the importance of the lungs to the community and delivering information on how to maintain good lung health
• Support early diagnosis of lung disease by promoting and advocating the Lung Health Checklist
• Provide support to those affected by lung disease – both patients and carers
• Improve equitable access to evidence based care
• Support quality research
Where the money goes
All of the money raised from BOL will go towards a multitude of projects but in particular lung health initiatives, including research, education and support for those with lung disease as well as their families and carers.
Lung disease statistics
The Australian Lung Foundation is responding to the need in the community to reduce the significant and debilitating impact of lung disease, both in human and monetary terms. 1 in 5 Tasmanians will develop a chronic lung disease.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Facts
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a complex lung condition with progressive and severe scarring of the lung tissue. The median survival of this condition is only 3-5 years. In recent years, technical advances have enabled earlier diagnosis, leading physicians to consider the possibility of early intervention in the relentless disease course of this condition. The Lung Foundation is currently working on a National IPF Registry which will facilitate Australia-wide collaboration of research in to this condition in order to provide quality data to answer clinical and epidemiological research questions, and ultimately lead to better quality of care for IPF patients.
Lung Cancer Statistics
• More than 8,000 Australians die from lung cancer annually (more than breast, ovarian and prostate cancers combined) = over 20 deaths per day.
• The majority of the 9,200 patients diagnosed with lung cancer each year have either never smoked or are non-smokers who have long since kicked the habit.
• Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer, accounting for 1 in every 5 deaths due to cancer, yet is one of the least funded cancers in the world
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Statistics
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Statistics COPD is the:
• 4th leading cause of death in men and 6th in women.
• 7th leading burden of disease
• 2nd leading cause of avoidable hospital admissions
• Affects 1 in 7people over 40
• At least 50% of people don't know they have it.
• COPD causes 4.2% of all deaths in men and 3.3% of all deaths in women.
When Victoria was in her late twenties, she decided to travel to Canada with her husband on a teaching exchange. Part of the visa process involved a medical including a chest x-ray. As someone who had never smoked or worked in a dusty environment, Victoria was shocked when the x-ray revealed a tumour in her left lung. She had experienced no symptoms and was living a healthy and active lifestyle. Victoria had surgery to remove her left lung and commenced treatment to combat the tumour. This included chemotherapy and radiation treatment. During that time she was unable to do everyday activities and so she now appreciates and enjoys all aspects of her life and she tries to continue to stay positive. She values her friendships and family more than ever. Her advice is to get any potential lung issues assessed as quickly as possible as early detection is often lifesaving.
Victoria’s Karen Munro seemed to be a fit, healthy and competitive cyclist who never smoked before. But at just 39 years of age, she made a life changing discovery - she had stage IV inoperable lung cancer. She showed no signs of lung cancer before her diagnosis, “I couldn’t believe it when they told me that I had lung cancer, I am young, fit and I have never smoked and I wasn’t even sick! I found out that I had lung cancer after I had an MRI for a hip complaint which everyone thought was a sports injury, well my sports injury turned out to be cancer”. Sadly, Karen Munro passed away in September 2011. However, her memory lives on as her positive approach and tireless energy during her illness provide inspiration to others who have been diagnosed with lung cancer.
In October 2009, when she was just 45, Colette Beeston was diagnosed with COPD. Whilst she had experienced some symptoms of the disease, Colette didn’t believe that her tiredness and breathlessness were anything sinister. She was fit and active, so just thought it was just a part of the ageing process. However, in winter 2009, Colette suddenly went from being able to easily complete a cardio class or run/jog/walk 5kms to not even being able to go 300 metres. Colette strongly believes that the amount of time between having her symptoms noticed/tested has impacted on the treatment or what will eventually become the outcome. She believes she is very lucky that her diagnosis was very early in the disease compared to others. As such, she has a much better chance of stabilising the condition. She is conscious of maintaining her exercise program and resting when her body needs it. Colette smoked on and off for 18 -20 years, stopping finally for good about 9 years ago. She was also raised on a rural property in an environment of extreme dust, from stock yards to wheat dust and worked in night-clubs for 10 years with heavy exposure to passive smoking, over a shift which could be as long as 8 hours. Colette believes it is essential that if a person suspects they may have problems with their lungs that they talk to their doctor. She also believes that awareness about lung disease is important for people to take action to improve their lung health.