‘Fighting to Breathe,’ a look at lung diseases in Ky., their causes and new treatments, premieres Monday night on KET

Kentucky Educational Television is airing a three-part series and forum that will examine the under-told story of lung cancer and other lung diseases in Kentucky: the causes, the impact on those afflicted, and the exciting new developments in treatment and prevention.
Kentucky leads the nation in lung cancer and deaths from it, largely in part to the state’s high smoking and radon-exposure rates and low rates of early detection.
“Fighting to Breathe: Lung Disease in Kentucky” will be hosted by Renee Shaw and Dr. Wayne Tuckson, who will speak with researchers, experts, advocates and survivors who reveal eye-opening information that challenges some basic assumptions about lung health. Viewers will also learn about the anatomy of the respiratory system as well as the resilience and vulnerability of the human lung, which inhales and exhales over 400 liters of air every hour.
The first episode in the series is titled “The Threats Around Us” and will premiere at 9 p.m. ET Monday, Feb. 21. It will examine the major threats to lung health, especially in lower-income communities, and look at what happens when the lungs’ defenses are overwhelmed.
The second episode, “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Asthma,” will air at 9:30 p.m. ET Monday. It will look at two of the most common chronic lung diseases in Kentucky, exploring the causes, diagnosis (and misdiagnosis) and best practices for clinical treatment. It will also present new research from the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville and look at innovative public-health measures to address these conditions.
America’s Health Rankings reports that 12.3% of Kentucky adults have COPD, second highest among the states. Nationally, the rate is 6.2%. The same report says 11.5% of Kentucky adults have Asthma, ranking it fourth among the states. Nationally, this rate is 9.6%.
The third episode, “Lung Cancer,” will air the following Monday, Feb. 28 at 9 p.m. ET, and will be followed by a one-hour forum starting at 9:30 p.m.
The third episode will examine how low-dose CT scans are saving lives by finding lung cancer early, and the need for more people to take advantage of them. “Until very recently, the news about lung cancer was uniformly bleak. However, with the advancement of low dose CT scans for detecting early lung cancers in smokers and formers smokers, the tide is changing,” KET says in a news release.
The episode will also explore new treatments for lung cancer—targeted therapies and immunotherapies—that are increasing survival rates. And it will provide information about the 20% of lung-cancer patients who never smoked and are desperate for others to understand that we are all at risk for lung cancer.
The final episode will be a one-hour forum to explore the next steps in the fight to reduce the burden of lung disease in the state and enhance the respiratory health of all Kentuckians.
“Fighting to Breathe” is funded, in part, by grants from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Kentucky Medical Association (through a grant from the Anthem Foundation).
Previous Article
Next Article