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Lung Cancer Still Lowest in Federal Funding

Saturday, May 17, 2008 General News J E 4
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Research Funding Per Death Drops More in 2007



WASHINGTON, May 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While lung cancer causes one in three cancer deaths, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) invested less than 5% of its $4.8 billion budget in lung cancer research in 2007, according to updated statistics issued by Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) today.



The two other federal agencies with significant cancer research programs -- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Defense (DOD) -- have no money earmarked for lung cancer in 2007.



Expressed in dollars per death, research funding through these three federal sources in 2007 totaled $23,754 for breast cancer, $11,959 for prostate cancer and $5,500 for colon cancer. Lung cancer research spending was $1,414 per death, a 23% drop from $1,829 in research funding per death in 2005.



LCA President & CEO Laurie Fenton Ambrose said these statistics paint a clear picture. "Despite lung cancer's enormous death toll, lung cancer research is still not a priority for our public health policy decision makers."



"The lack of public awareness of the statistics and the stigma of smoking has been a shield for those making these decisions, who also know that lung cancer leaves few survivors to demand more federal research funding money," she said.



"To this we say: No More," said Fenton Ambrose, whose Washington D.C. based national organization is the only one dedicated exclusively to patient support and advocacy for those living with or at risk for lung cancer.



Lung cancer has the highest number of deaths and the highest death rate of all the cancers, taking more lives each year than breast, prostate, colon, kidney, and melanoma and liver cancers--combined.



"In addition, very few women even know that lung cancer will kill nearly twice as many women as breast cancer, that the number of women with lung cancer has soared or that one in every five women being diagnosed with lung cancer now has never smoked," said Fenton Ambrose.



Over 50% of new lung cancer patients are former smokers, many of whom quit decades ago. Another 10 to 15% have never smoked, with women non-smokers outnumbering men two to one.



"If women knew all these facts, they would be demanding that lung cancer research be funded at least at the same level as breast cancer research if not more," she said.



In 2007 research funding through NCI, CDC and DOD totaled $971,800,000 for breast cancer, $323,500,000 for prostate cancer, $287,000,000 for colon cancer and $226,900,000 for lung cancer.



In 2007 an estimated 52,180 people will die of colon cancer, 40,460 of breast cancer and 27,050 from prostate cancer. A total of 160,390 will die of lung cancer in 2007.



The 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is now 87%, for prostate cancer 99% and for colon cancer 64%. The 5-year survival rate for lung cancer is 15%.



Statistical report attached and can be viewed at www.lungcanceralliance.org.



Lung Cancer Alliance (www.lungcanceralliance.org) is the only national non-profit organization dedicated solely to patient support and advocacy for those living with or at risk for lung cancer. LCA is committed to leading the movement to reverse decades of stigma and neglect by empowering those with or at risk for the disease, elevating awareness and changing health policy.



Media Contact:

Kay Cofrancesco

202-463-2080

kay@lungcanceralliance.org



SOURCE Lung Cancer Alliance
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