To raise public awareness of lung cancer—the leading cancer killer of men and women—the American Lung Association‘s LUNG FORCE initiative has partnered with the Ad Council to launch the first national public service advertising (PSA) campaign to educate Americans about a groundbreaking lung cancer screening for those at high risk. This potentially lifesaving low-dose CT scan (LDCT) can detect lung cancer in the early stages, before symptoms arise, when the disease is more curable. The campaign, “Saved By The Scan,” was developed pro bono by creative agency, Hill Holliday, and launched on World Lung Cancer Day on the 1st of August.
This campaign targets the estimated 9 million people in the U.S. who are at high risk for lung cancer and should talk to their doctor about getting screened. A person is considered high risk for lung cancer if they: are between 55–80 years old; (or between 55–77 years old and on Medicare), have a 30 pack year history of smoking (this means 1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, etc., and are a current smoker, or have quit within the last 15 years.
“Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cause of cancer deaths, and lung cancer screening for individuals at high risk is truly the breakthrough we need to save more lives and help turn the tide against lung cancer,” said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer. “Lung cancer screening is a powerful opportunity to save lives by diagnosing the disease in early stages when the disease is more curable. Screening can potentially save thousands of lives, and through this campaign we hope to empower and motivate former and current smokers to learn more about their screening options.”
The campaign aims to raise awareness of the benefits of early detection through lung cancer screening and drive high-risk individuals to take a lung cancer screening eligibility quiz at SavedByTheScan.org. The site also provides information about lung cancer screening (insurance coverage, how to find a screening center, etc.) and includes a section for people to share their personal stories about how they were “saved by the scan.”
“This campaign is vital to addressing one of the most overlooked and deadly health crises of our time,” said Ad Council CEO and President Lisa Sherman. “We know that this new compelling campaign will empower people at risk, or who have loved ones at risk, to get screened and ultimately save lives.”
The television spot, featuring a former smoker climbing to the top of a vast mountain of cigarettes and ash, is symbolic of the effort it took to quit smoking. After conquering the addiction, proactively taking the extra step to get screened for lung cancer is punctuated by the tagline, “You stopped smoking. Now start screening.” The creative was shot by Academy-Award nominee Rodrigo Prieto, the cinematographer behind Silence, Babel, Argo and Brokeback Mountain.
“How often do we get the chance to make advertising that saves lives? With this campaign, brought to life by the unique perspective of Rodrigo Prieto, we get to do just that,” said Lance Jensen, Chief Creative Officer at Hill Holliday. “It’s an honor and a privilege for Hill Holliday to create ‘Saved By The Scan’ for the Ad Council on behalf of the American Lung Association. We hope this work helps raise awareness of this amazing screening technology and prevents lung cancer from taking more lives.”
Consider the devastating facts about lung cancer:
- Lung cancer kills 426 people every day – approximately 18 deaths each hour, or 1 death every 3.5 minutes.
- The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 17.7 percent, among the lowest for all types of cancers.
- Early detection can save lives – survival rates are five times higher when lung cancer is detected early, but most cases are not diagnosed until later stages. If only half of the high-risk population were screened, more than 15,000 lives could be saved.
The American Lung Association created LUNG FORCE, a national movement to defeat lung cancer, the leading cancer killer of women and men. LUNG FORCE has three priorities: make lung cancer a cause that people care about and act on, educate and empower patients and healthcare providers, and raise critical funds for lung cancer research.
Individuals who may be at high risk are encouraged to visit SavedByTheScan.org, where they can take the lung cancer screening eligibility quiz and find additional information on the campaign and lung cancer.