Support lung cancer patients
#BreatheAir

Show your support

 

The facts are startling

Lung Cancer is New Zealand’s biggest cancer killer,1 with over 30 people dying of it each week.1

In 2017, about 2,200 New Zealanders were diagnosed with lung cancer.1

There are some significant health inequities that exist in New Zealand.2 Māori have the highest number of new lung cancer diagnoses each year compared with non-Māori/Non-Pacific.2

Māori women are nearly four times more likely to die from lung cancer compared to non-Māori women - and Māori men are nearly three times more likely than Non-Māori men.3

About lung cancer

Lung cancer is often diagnosed late, as most lung cancers do not cause any symptoms until they have spread.4

Lung cancer survival is much higher if cancer is detected at an early stage, one-year survival is 87.3% for early (stage 1) disease but is only 18.7% for late (stage 4).2,5

The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:4

  • A cough that doesn’t go away or gets worse,
  • coughing up blood or rust-coloured phlegm,
  • chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing or laughing,
  • hoarseness,
  • A cough that doesn’t go away or gets worse,
  • coughing up blood or rustcoloured phlegm,
  • chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing or laughing,
  • hoarseness,
  • unexplained weight loss,
  • unexplained weight loss,
  • loss of appetite,
  • shortness of breath,
  • tiredness or weakness,
  • bronchitis or pneumonia that doesn’t go away or keeps coming back,
  • new onset of wheezing.
  • loss of appetite,
  • shortness of breath,
  • tiredness or weakness,
  • bronchitis or pneumonia that doesn’t go away or keeps coming back,
  • new onset of wheezing.4
 
Lung Cancer

It is important that you talk to your doctor when you first notice any of these symptoms or if you are concerned about any of them.

 

What is MSD wanting to achieve?

MSD believes lung cancer in NZ needs investment at many levels, these include:

  • campaigns to raise the awareness of signs and symptoms for early detection
  • screening of high‒risk individuals or populations
  • improved diagnostic testing
  • access to more funded treatments.

Through investments, New Zealand have seen improvements in cancer outcomes. These improvements may have been attributable to reductions in smoking rates by improved tobacco control, better diagnostics, more timely diagnosis and more standardised treatment approaches.2 However, we think more can be done.

MSD want to raise awareness of the impact of lung cancer in New Zealand. To help support change and to advocate for increased funding to help lung cancer patients get access to more funded lung cancer treatments.

More funded lung cancer treatments

Help us #BreatheAir into more funded lung cancer treatments

Here are some things you can do today - some are quick and easy, and some require a bit more effort. Whatever you decide to do we really appreciate it! Thank you.

Write to: Your MP or The Minister of Health

Tell them how you feel

Get started here

 

Help the good work the Lung Foundation do to

Support patients with lung Cancer

Find out more

Tie a balloon to your letterbox -

Snap it, share it, tag it #breatheair

Start sharing


Please discuss the information on this website with a healthcare professional and it does not replace their advice.

References: 1. Ministry of Health. 2020. Cancer: Historical summary 1948-2017. Available at: www.health.govt.nz/publication/cancer-historical-summary-1948-2017. Accessed on: 17 Sep 2020. 2. Ministry of Health. 2019. New Zealand Cancer Action Plan 2019-2029 - Te Mahere mō te Mate Pukupuku o Aotearoa 2019-2029. Revised January 2020 Wellington: Ministry of Health. 3. Gurney et al The most commonly diagnosed and most common causes of cancer deaths for Maori New Zealanders NZMJ 2020;133(1521):77-96. 4. American Cancer Society. Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer. Available at: www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/signs-symptoms.html. Accessed on: 17 Sept 2020. 5. Hawkes N. Cancer survival data emphasise importance of early diagnosis. BMJ 2019;364:l408

 

TAPS NA12423 First issued Oct 2020. INSIGHT 10366. NZ-NON-00078

Merck Sharp & Dohme (New Zealand) Limited. Level 3, 123 Carlton Gore Road, Newmarket, Auckland.

Copyright © 2020 Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA. All rights reserved.