Niagara Falls will be illuminated in a veil of white Saturday night to recognize Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
The mighty cataracts will be bathed in pure white light from 8 to 8:15 p.m. and 9 to 9:15 p.m., said Christine Dwyer, leader of Make Some Noise for Lung Cancer organization, a nonprofit group devoted to lung cancer awareness.
This will be the third annual Illuminate the Falls for Lung Cancer Awareness, Dwyer said in an email.
White is the awareness color for lung cancer, as this form of cancer often is referred to as the “invisible disease.”
Debbie Levinstein, of Castile, who next month will mark her 10th year living with a lung cancer diagnosis, is among those who plan to participate.
“My cancer was not detected until I was Stage 3, and even then it was found by accident while treating a ‘pulled muscle’ on the other side of my body,” Levinstein said. “I would like the color white to be as noticed in November as pink is in October.
Lung Cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer in the United States, killing more people annually than breast, colon, liver, kidney, prostate and melanoma cancers combined.
"It kills twice as many women as breast cancer each year, yet receives a fraction of the funding, support and resources afforded other cancers and major disease," Dwyer said. "Researchers estimate 160,000 Americans will succumb to the disease this year, and that 60 percent to 80 percent of cases that will be diagnosed will be in never smokers or people that quit years ago, with an increasing amount of young, non-smoking women being diagnosed."
Lung cancer generally is asymptomatic. Medically established early detection screening for lung cancer has been a topic of studies, debates and controversy for more than a half century, Dwyer said. Most lung cancer is not diagnosed until it has reached advanced stage, making survival rates typically less than five years.
For more information, visit lung.org or lungcanceralliance.org.
– Scott Scanlon