2010 is the Year of the Lung and November is COPD Month. Respiratory Care Week 2010 is October 24–30. There are also two special days that are being celebrated this Fall:
In preparation for these special times that are approaching, we hope that our members will once again plan and participate in activities designed to celebrate any of these occasions. You are encouraged to work with your Better Breathers groups, the local medical community or with others who have COPD to distribute literature, encourage spirometry testing, speak to local civic groups about COPD and your personal experiences and engage in any other activities that will increase the public’s awareness of COPD. In addition to any activities you may be planning, we also encourage you to write letters to the editor in your hometown papers to help bring awareness of COPD to your community. We’ve put together four for you to choose from. Please use whichever one you like and feel free to change them in ways that make them more meaningful to you.
(To get the contact email addresses for the media in your area, just enter your Zip code (or click on your State) at http://www.usnpl.com/ or at http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/media/.)
Please let us know when you write, and if you are not published within three or four days or otherwise acknowledged, then write again. And when you are published, send us the link or a clipping – we will post it on the EFFORTS website.
SAMPLE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Physicians Urged to Test for Lung Disease
Almost anyone can develop
a term for lung diseases that includes emphysema and
chronic bronchitis. The most
common cause is smoking, of course, but
second hand smoke, toxic chemicals used at work or at home,
and possibly one’s genetic makeup can also be factors. Whatever the
underlying cause, COPD is now the fourth largest killer in the
No one really knows why
some people get COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary
Disease) and others don't - even when circumstance and
surroundings seem similar. A lot more research is
needed. Although anywhere from 12 million to 24 million
people in the
As a sufferer of this devastating illness, I am urging our medical professionals to begin including a routine spirometry test when giving physicals to anyone at any age who reports a history of smoking. I also urge anyone who may be at risk for this disease to ask for that test – even if they seem to have no symptoms now. This quick, painless test only takes a few minutes and can be the key to starting steps to minimize further decline.
Much valuable information about this disease can be found at the EFFORTS (Emphysema Foundation for Our Right to Survive) website. If you would like to learn more about preventing this disease, or about living with it if you already have it, please visit the website at http://www.emphysema.net/bindex.html There is no obligation to join and lots of excellent information.
Thank you for you time.
COPD Awareness Can
An invisible killer is in our midst. It’s called COPD. You may not recognize the name COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - even though it is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States and growing so rapidly that it may become the third leading cause by 2020.
What is COPD? It is an umbrella term that encompasses commonly known diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is a chronic, progressive disease, which causes the lung’s airways and alveoli to lose their elasticity and the airway walls to collapse, seriously hindering breathing and disabling those who have it. Those most at risk for COPD are smokers, people exposed to air pollution or second-hand smoke, and those with a family history of COPD. COPD can be hereditary so even if you have never smoked, you may be at risk.
November has been proclaimed COPD Awareness Month and many health care centers will be paying special attention to COPD this month. If you are in the at-risk group, please attend any educational event about COPD this month. Check with your local hospital and health care professionals to see what may be available. Ask your family doctor to test you for it. If you don’t ask, COPD may not be diagnosed until you have serious symptoms, at which time you may have already lost 50% or more of your lung capacity. The test is simple, painless and very quick. Many physician offices have equipment to test you – it takes just a few minutes. If you are a smoker, decide now to quit ~ prevention is much less expensive than treatment and there is no cure at this time.
Want more information about COPD? I and 2500 other members of EFFORTS - an on-line support and advocacy group – can help provide it. Please visit our website at http://www.emphysema.net
What is COPD? Too few
people can answer that question, yet COPD (Chronic
Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is now the fourth leading
cause of death in the
People particularly at risk are long-term smokers; people exposed to a wide variety of air pollution, second-hand smoke, and people with a family history of COPD. It has been discovered there is a genetic cause for some COPD. If you are one of those potentially at risk for COPD, please ask your family doctor to test you for it - it's quick, easy, and painless. Those who think “it won’t happen to me” and wait for symptoms to show may have already lost more than half their lung capacity. If you are a smoker, QUIT!
More information about COPD can be found on the Internet at http://www.emphysema.net/bindex.html If you already have COPD or emphysema, go to the same web address and join EFFORTS, a 2500+ member support group helping each other function as well as possible within the disease limits. You are under no obligation to join to review the information. Maybe I will encounter you there.
COPD is largely preventable, easily detected and at least partly treatable if detected early. Why then does this problem continue to exist and grow? It has been a closet disease, and it’s high time it came out of the closet! Prevention and early detection depend on widespread public awareness – and that is sorely lacking. Ignoring early symptoms is a major concern and can have long term disastrous effects on individual health.
You are at risk for COPD if you have: a family history of lung disease, are a long-term smoker, or are exposed to air pollution, second-hand smoke, or toxic chemicals at work. If any of these describe you, m ake the effort to get tested. November is a great month for lung awareness. You will be among family and friends through the holiday season. Pass the word and encourage them to be tested as well. Do the testing even though you may have no noticeable symptoms yet. The test is quick, painless, and can be done in your family doctor’s office. Just blow hard in a tube for six seconds; that’s all there is to it. And it just might be the best six-second investment you ever made.
Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts. I have COPD and I just don’t want you to have it, too. More information can be found on line absolutely without obligation at http://www.emphysema.net/bindex.html
(Your Name)(Your Address)