10/28/2014 04:24 pm ET Updated Dec 28, 2014

5 Minutes Can Be Life Changing

Every 5 minutes...

...or by the time you're finished reading this article...

...a mother, daughter, wife or sister will be told she has lung cancer.

One year later, fewer than half of these women will be alive.

Over the past 35 years, the lung cancer death rate in women has more than doubled.

Lung cancer is not just a smoker's disease - it is THE #1 cancer killer of women, but only 1 percent of women say it's even on their radar.

As I've said before, it will take an unstoppable force to change the future of this disease.

We are on the cusp of major changes in lung cancer. Next year, millions of Americans at high-risk for lung cancer will -- for the first time -- have access to lifesaving lung cancer screening. New therapies are also in the pipeline but the nation's investment in research must grow to translate the possible to probable. The American Lung Association's new movement LUNG FORCE is helping to drive this change.

Launched earlier this year, LUNG FORCE, nationally presented by CVS Health, unites women in the fight against lung cancer, encouraging them to raise their voices for change. And I'm inviting all of you to be a part of our effort.

As a wife, daughter, sister, husband, son, brother or friend, your involvement will be critical in helping to drive this change even further.

How YOU can help: There are many ways to join this movement, and most of them require less than 5 minutes of your time.
• SIGN ON: Pledge to support the fight at to stand together against lung cancer and fight for innovations spearheaded by additional research, improved early detection methods and better treatments.
• SHARE: If lung cancer has touched your life, or someone you love, please share your story - and encourage your friends and family on your social networks to join LUNG FORCE.
WALK: Sign up to walk and raise money for the lung cancer fight. Rally your friends, neighbors and colleagues to stand together, fundraise and walk together, against lung cancer.
• DONATE: Show your support with actress and author Valerie Harper, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Jewel, country music singer Kellie Pickler and female NASCAR standout Mackena Bell are each launching their own online LUNG FORCE fundraising team, where people can donate and raise much needed money. Anyone can register and fundraise for a celebrity LUNG FORCE team by visiting

What we're doing: Through LUNG FORCE, the American Lung Association plans to invest $15 million over the next five years for lung cancer research, public health promotion and advocacy. Of this $15 million, we will invest $10 million in lung cancer research, with the remaining $5 million going to:
• Increasing awareness of early detection tools, such as CT screening;
• Providing patients with support from day one, including information about clinical trials and biomarker testing;
• Advocating for increased federal funding for lung cancer research from $213 million today to $300 million by 2020; and
• Raising awareness of the facts about lung cancer and how lung cancer affects women

As I mentioned, in the 5 minutes that it took to read this piece, a woman has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

This November, give us just 5 minutes of your time to help stop this statistic in its tracks.