There are many steps that can be taken to not only improve the health care system, but ultimately the experience of patients.

Asthma affects approximately three million Canadians and is the third most chronic disease in Canada. For people living with this incurable disease, effective management, choosing the right treatment, and utilizing the various resources available is key to keeping asthma controlled, and living a healthy active lifestyle.

Lung cancer remains Canada’s deadliest cancer, yet it’s underrepresented and underfunded compared to others in the country. Still, lung cancer doesn’t discriminate. While a large percentage of those affected are as a result of smoking, it remains that the second leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers is radon. Radon, sometimes referred to as “the silent killer”, is invisible and undetectable to the average eye. As a gas that is odourless, colourless and tasteless, its impacts are dire with high levels of exposure. That is why it is so important for people to take preventative and proactive steps for the health and wellbeing of themselves and their families by getting their home tested for radon.

Despite devastating diseases, there is hope

Equally as devastating as lung cancer is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a rare lung disease that remains largely undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, devastating and impacting people that are typically over the age of 50. While there is no cure, treatments are available and can provide hope for patients living with this devastating and fatal disease. Furthermore, resources are available to educate patients and support research towards a cure.

Ultimately, there are multiple steps that we can take as a nation to ensure the care and well-being of those living with lung diseases. For Canadians, it starts by taking a stand for the need for increased awareness, funding, and research support. For patients, it begins with education and being responsible for one’s own health, as well as partnering with their  physician for the right treatment and plan. After all, the aim of everyone affected by lung disease is to live a life that is free, and a life that is full.