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White light on falls for lung cancer cause

Niagara Falls will be illuminated in a veil of white tonight to recognize Lung Cancer Awareness month.

The mighty cataracts will be bathed in white from 8 to 8:15 p.m. and from 9 to 9:15 p.m., said Christine Dwyer, leader of Make Some Noise for Lung Cancer, a nonprofit group devoted to lung cancer awareness.

White is the awareness color for lung cancer, as this form of cancer often is referred to as the “invisible disease.”

Debbie Levinstein of Castile, who next month will mark her 10th year living with a lung cancer diagnosis, is among those who plan to participate.

“My cancer was not detected until I was Stage 3, and even then it was found by accident while treating a ‘pulled muscle’ on the other side of my body,” Levinstein said.

Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer in the United States, killing more people annually than breast, colon, liver, kidney, prostate and melanoma cancers combined. It kills twice as many women as breast cancer each year, yet it receives a fraction of the funding, support and resources afforded other cancers and major disease. Researchers estimate 160,000 Americans will succumb to the disease this year and that 60 percent to 80 percent of cases that will be diagnosed will be in people who never smoked or who quit years ago.

Lung cancer generally is asymptomatic. Medically established early detection screening for lung cancer has been a topic of studies, debates and controversy for more than a half-century. Most lung cancer is not diagnosed until it has reached advanced stage, making survival rates typically less than five years.

For more information, visit lung.org or lungcanceralliance.org.

Wegmans to help workers quit smoking

Wegmans Food Markets and Roswell Park Cancer Institute have joined forces to offer help to all Wegmans employees and eligible spouses who want to quit smoking.

Participants in the QuitClub will have access to the institute’s tobacco cessation program and services, including telephone counseling; smoking cessation medications; interactive and informational quit tools; and in-store support.

Wegmans will pay the cost of the program; employees can join for free.

“We are pleased to join with Roswell Park, a nationally recognized cancer center, to offer this valuable program to our employees in support of healthy lifestyle choices,” said Becky Lyons, Wegmans director of benefits and wellness, in a news release. “Quitting smoking is difficult, so it’s very important that we provide the best tools to help them succeed.”

In 2008, Wegmans stopped selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its stores and established its own tobacco cessation program for employees.

Information on similar programs for the general public can be found at www.roswellpark.org or by calling New York’s Smokers Quitline, (866) 697-8487.

UB addiction institute launches website

The University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions has launched its new website at buffalo.edu/ria.

RIA scientists conduct research on a range of health-related issues, including alcoholism, illicit and prescription drug abuse, gambling addictions, smoking, child development, domestic violence, risky health behaviors, addiction treatment methods, the neuroscience of addiction and trends in drug use.

They often seek help from the public for related studies, many of which pay those willing to help. For information, go to the website.