Leading Lung Cancer Charities & Organizations

Where you should turn if you're looking for support or wish to lend support

People often wonder how they can help in the fight against lung cancer. They may be motivated by the help their own families have received, because lung cancer organizations make a real difference for people living with the disease.

These groups offer a range of services, from youth education to screening initiatives to research funding. Rather than compete against each other, the leading lung cancer organizations each have a role. This article looks at some of the key players and the work they are doing on lung cancer.

Support group gathering for a meeting
HRAUN / Getty Images

LUNGevity

LUNGevity is a large organization focused solely on lung cancer. It supports those living with the condition and funds research. Perhaps, though, it is best known as the organization that provides education, support, and connections for those living with lung cancer today.

The annual HOPE Summit is a LUNGevity event that gathers cancer survivors from across the United States. They are invited to spend a few days learning more about their disease, while developing lifelong friends who are facing a similar struggle.

Seeing group photos of long-term stage 4 lung cancer survivors often has meaning beyond words to someone living with lung cancer. LUNGevity also supports regional summits across the country.

It is a key source of research funding to support scientists looking for lung cancer treatments. The financial support for young researchers assures us the lung cancer work will continue in the future. For people living with lung cancer, the LUNGevity website is an excellent source of up-to-date information written by professionals, but in language accessible to anyone.

GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer

The GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer is a new organization formed by the merger of two very active lung cancer organizations: the Lung Cancer Alliance and the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation.

Historically, the Lung Cancer Alliance provided information and support for people with lung cancer. Yet it stands out as one of the most active groups working to address public policy, talking with lawmakers and other key decision-makers who are responsible for advocacy and change.

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation also contributes to research and support, but with a special focus on supporting young people with lung cancer. Lung cancer in young adults is a unique disease in many ways.

People who are young at the time of diagnosis are much more likely to have genetic changes, or mutations, that can be targeted by specific drugs—and more drugs are always in development. Young people also have issues that older people may not, such as fertility issues related to cancer treatment.

Lung cancer groups focus on research, family support, and other causes. Among them is the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer with its concern for young people. People diagnosed with lung cancer at younger ages often have different medical concerns than older people.

Working together now as the GO2 Foundation, the two groups host a number of events including an annual advocacy summit. The monthly Lung Cancer Living Room welcomes all participants to come in person or join virtually. It's a chance for those living with lung cancer to connect with doctors, scientists, and of course, other lung cancer advocates about a wide range of related topics.

The American Lung Association

The American Lung Association (ALA) supports people with a wide range of lung diseases, but has become more active in raising awareness about lung cancer specifically. You may be familiar with their Lung Force if they are active in your city.

While the ALA supports all people with lung cancer, they have a niche in uniting women with lung cancer from around the country. Lung cancer in women can differ from lung cancer in men in many ways, from the most common symptoms to the treatments that might work best.

Upstage Lung Cancer

A small but active lung cancer organization is Upstage Lung Cancer, headed up by lung cancer survivor Hildy Grossman. This group shows how anyone can use their talents and special interests to make a difference for those living with lung cancer now, and those diagnosed in the future.

If you are looking at ways to boost early detection in lung cancer, this may be the organization you choose to support. When lung cancer is caught in the early stages of the disease, it may be curable with surgery.

Sadly, about half of all people with lung cancer are not diagnosed until their cancer has progressed to stage 3B or stage 4. These stages are considered advanced lung cancer. If everyone who qualified for lung cancer screening did so, the lung cancer death rate could be reduced by an estimated 20% in the U.S.

At the same time, many people are unaware that this screening is even available. One analysis of a year's worth of data in 10 states found just 14.4% of those eligible for lung cancer screening did so.

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, people who should be screened for lung cancer:

  • Are between 50 and 80 years old
  • Have a 20 or more pack-years history of smoking
  • Currently smoke or have quit smoking within the past 15 years
  • Are healthy enough overall to undergo treatment if diagnosed with lung cancer

International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)

The IASLC is a large international organization focused on every aspect of lung cancer. At yearly meetings, researchers from around the globe share the latest findings with oncologists worldwide.

In recent years, the IASLC has provided scholarships for patients and advocates to attend these meetings as well—both to learn and to be a voice. Many lung cancer doctors and researchers have found that hearing the voices and seeing the faces of people living with the condition helps them return to their clinics or labs with renewed passion to make a difference.

Lung Cancer Foundation of America

The Lung Cancer Foundation of America supports lung cancer research, though their focus is on "transformative changes." This means that it supports the kind of groundbreaking research which can lead to potential cures in the very near future. The website is a wealth of information, with links to the latest research as well as clinical trials for lung cancer.

For doctors and scientists, they also provide information about funding opportunities. For patients, the section on "meet the investigators" is a window into a world of ongoing research. It's something that can bring hope for those who don't see change happening fast enough.

CancerCare

The CancerCare organization stands out in the effort to support lung cancer. If you are looking for comprehensive cancer information on a very wide range of topics, CancerCare likely has it.

The group also holds Connect Education workshops, and you can listen to hour-long talks in the comfort of your home. There is an extensive archive of previous workshops ranging from the latest advances in lung cancer treatment to tips for family caregivers. Lung cancer support groups and online cancer communities are also available, as well as counseling and financial support.

The CancerCare mission is based on a common principle among lung cancer groups: that one lung cancer diagnosis is really a family's disease. It also offers education and support for family caregivers of people with cancer.

Summary

There are many worthy organizations that need support in the fight against lung cancer. Some focus on early detection. Others make a difference through advocacy and public policy initiatives.

Whether it's funding research, supporting people living with lung cancer, or focusing on specific groups like women or young people, they continue the work and welcome others to join them. 

A Word From Verywell

The lung cancer organizations listed here are among the leading national and global groups, and there's probably a way to connect in your own community. But there are others, often serving the needs of those closer to home on a local or regional basis. Don't hesitate to reach out to a lung cancer organization near you for support if you need it, or to help if you are able.

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Lung Cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation StatementJAMA. 2021;325(10):962–970. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.1117

Additional Reading
  • National Cancer Institute. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment (PDQ) – Health Professional Version. 06/13/19. 

  • Pass, Harvey I. Principles and Practice of Lung Cancer: The Official Reference Text of the IASLC. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010.