PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, actor Jack Huston, a star of the hit television show Boardwalk Empire and the upcoming remake of Ben Hur, took on an important new role as lung cancer advocate as he challenged Europeans to A.C.T. – be Aware, get Checked, and Talk with their doctor about lung cancer. After losing his grandfather to lung disease and his best friend and mentor, Peter Blythe, to lung cancer, Huston was motivated to take action by partnering with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) and leading advocacy group Lung Cancer Europe (LuCE) to ask the public, particularly those at high risk, what’s their Next Lung Cancer A.C.T.?
Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in Europe with an estimated 353,000 deaths each year – more than breast cancer, colorectal and prostate cancers combined. In Europe, lung cancer is the third most common cancer among women. Despite the growing prevalence, a new survey conducted among more than 8,200 participants in nine European countries showed that lung cancer knowledge is very low, with nearly six in 10 people (57%) surveyed saying that they are not knowledgeable about the disease. Further, one in five people (20%) could not identify the symptoms of lung cancer, including persistent cough, and one in 10 people (10%) do not know the risk factors, such as exposure to cigarette smoking.
Huston, along with lung cancer advocates and oncologists, unveiled the survey results at the European Cancer Congress (ECC) 2015 in Vienna, as well as a short film highlighting the personal stories of lung cancer patients.
“Like many Europeans, I know firsthand the devastating impact cancer can have on a family,” said Huston. “I’ve joined The Next Lung Cancer A.C.T. in hopes of encouraging others to be mindful of the risk factors and symptoms of lung cancer and the importance of taking action now.”
Key findings of the survey showed:
- Six in 10 respondents (62%) believe lung cancer is a smoker’s disease, although smoking is only one risk factor for lung cancer
- 45 percent believe that breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women as compared to 8 percent who responded lung cancer
- Nearly half of all respondents (46%) said they are not concerned about getting lung cancer, including 43 percent who have experience with lung cancer and 36 percent who are daily smokers
- Eight in 10 people (83%) have never spoken to their doctor about lung cancer; an equal number of smokers (77%) also report this behavior
- Following the survey, the majority of respondents (90%) expressed a willingness to take action to reduce their risk of lung cancer, including reducing their exposure to carcinogen (cancer-causing substances or agents) (50%), limit exposure to secondhand smoke (48%), and talking to their doctor (43%)
“It’s a pivotal time for lung cancer – the disease remains an enormous public threat in Europe but we are seeing promising research in the lung cancer space,” said LuCE board member and lung cancer survivor, Regine Deniel Ihlen. “That is why now is the time for people to act by being aware, taking steps to get checked and having an ongoing dialogue with their physicians.”
“At ECCO we are committed to helping people understand the signs that indicate that they may have cancer, as well as recognizing ways in which the disease may be prevented,” said Professor Martine Piccart, President of the European CanCer Organization (ECCO). “That is why we are happy to be hosting the launch of this campaign, and we wish it every success.”
“At Bristol-Myers Squibb, we are committed to fighting lung cancer through our research in oncology and by supporting the global lung cancer community,” said Emmanuel Blin, senior vice president, Head of Commercialization, Policy and Operations, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “The Next Lung Cancer A.C.T. represents our ongoing dedication to helping to empower those with cancer by providing them with knowledge to better understand the risks of lung cancer and how to take action.”
About The Next Lung Cancer A.C.T.
The Next Lung Cancer A.C.T. is a public awareness campaign designed to encourage the public, particularly those at high risk of lung cancer, to take ACTion against the disease by being Aware, getting Checked and Talking to their doctor. The Next Lung Cancer A.C.T. is sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb, in collaboration with Lung Cancer Europe (LuCE). For more information on the campaign please visit www.TheNextLungCancerACT.eu.
About the Survey and TNS
TNS conducted the survey. TNS, the world’s largest custom research agency, is a well-recognized research group for their quality and authoritative research.
Participants in the 12-question, self-administered online omnibus survey were 8,263 Europeans, ages 16-54 across nine different countries in Europe: Austria, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. The survey was conducted between July 30, 2015 and August 7, 2015. The results were tested at 95% significant. At 95% confidence level, if the study were repeated, the results would not fluctuate more than 3.0-3.4 percentage points in either direction for the population surveyed in each country.
About Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths globally, resulting in more than 1.5 million deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In Europe alone, lung cancer is responsible for an estimated 353,000 deaths from the disease every year – more than breast cancer, colorectal and prostate cancers combined. It has the highest economic burden of all cancers in the European Union, costing an estimated €18.8 billion or 15 percent of overall cancer costs.
Lung Cancer Europe (LuCE) is a voice of lung cancer patients, their families and survivors at a European level. LuCE provides a European platform for already existing lung cancer patient advocacy groups and supports the establishment of national lung cancer patient groups in different European countries where such groups do not yet exist.
LuCE aims to raise awareness about inequities regarding the access to lung cancer treatment and care in Europe. Moreover, it advocates European policies that will lead to improvements in lung cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and care. LuCE also supports national lung cancer patient groups in helping raise awareness for lung cancer among the European public.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company committed to discovering, developing and delivering innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit www.bms.com, or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.