LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 6, 2013) — The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center will host a special photo exhibit and reception honoring Kentucky lung cancer survivors this Monday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. in the atrium of the cancer center's Combs Research Building.
The exhibit, "Faces of Lung Cancer," was coordinated by the Kentucky Cancer Program to spread awareness about lung cancer and prevention. Photos of each of the nine survivors will be prominently displayed along with a brief personal statement. In addition to the two survivors who are attending, featured speakers include UK Markey Cancer Center Director Dr. Mark Evers, cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Timothy Mullett, oncologist Dr. Susanne Arnold, Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy Director Ellen Hahn, and Kentucky Cancer Registry Director Tom Tucker.
Exhibit participant Juanita Meade, who has been cancer-free for more than two years, says she hopes the exhibit helps raise awareness for the cause and provides inspiration for those who may be going through a similar situation.
"I hope the message people take away is that we need more support, we need more research," Meade said. "And you have to be strong, you have to have faith. I thought, 'I am on the ride of my life, and I'm going to hang on.'"
Kentucky leads the nation in both new incidences of lung cancer and deaths from the disease. Though tobacco use is the biggest risk factor for developing lung cancer, anyone can develop the disease regardless of his or her smoking status. Lung cancer kills nearly twice as many women as breast cancer, and it is the leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women in the U.S.
As the state's only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, Markey's mission is to ensure that all Kentuckians can receive the best possible cancer care closest to home, and to make an impact on the cancers that are affecting our state the most -- like lung cancer.
"We've taken extraordinary steps in recent years to help combat cancer incidence and mortality, and I'm proud to say that Markey patients with lung cancers show higher five-year survival rates than patients treated at other cancer centers nationwide," said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. "However, we are always working reduce this burden on our state — and events like 'Faces of Lung Cancer' are another way for us to educate the community about this often-fatal disease."
"Faces of Lung Cancer" will remain on display at UK in the Combs Building atrium for one week. The exhibit will travel across the state and be displayed in various communities over the next 12 months. Local exhibits, including educational materials and speakers, will be coordinated by KCP regional staff in collaboration with district cancer councils and other community groups.
KCP is a state-funded cancer control program jointly administered by the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. It includes 14 regional offices across the state. KCP at UK serves Central and Eastern Kentucky.
All photos in "Faces of Lung Cancer" were taken by Richmond photographer Tim Webb, who donated his time. For more information about scheduling the exhibit in your community, contact your local KCP office. For contact information, go to www.kcp.uky.edu and click on "Regional Offices."
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