WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 In the final days of November's Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Members of Congress called upon Honorable Michael Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make a commitment to increase funding for lung cancer research and develop a coordinated plan to address the leading cause of cancer death among men and women.
"We couldn't ask for a better initiative to round out our awareness efforts this month," said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, President and CEO of Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA). "We are so very grateful for the continued congressional engagement on this important issue. We can and must do better for all of those impacted by the disease."
The letter coauthored by Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA) and Congressman Frank LoBiondo (D-NJ) and cosigned by 15 other Members of Congress calls upon the Secretary of HHS to make a commitment to increase funding for lung cancer research and develop a coordinated and comprehensive research effort, similar to those used to help defeat other major cancers, in order to reach the goal of reducing the lung cancer mortality rate by 50 percent by 2015.
It also builds upon the recently passed House and Senate Resolutions which also recognized lung cancer as a national public health priority and called for a multi agency approach to fighting the disease.
Lung cancer will take the lives of over 160,000 Americans this year -- more than breast, prostate, and colon cancers, combined -- making it the leading cancer killer. Lung cancer's 15% five year survival rate has remained unchanged for decades. Conversely, significant funding for research and early detection has greatly increased five year survival rates for breast cancer (88%), prostate cancer (99%) and colon cancer (65%).
Additional congressional signatores include Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Betty Sutton (D-OH), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), George Miller (D-CA), Michael McNulty (D-NY), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Diane E. Watson (D-CA), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Christopher Shays (R-CT), and Christopher Smith (R-NJ).
A copy of the letter can be found at www.lungcanceralliance.org.
Lung Cancer Alliance is the only national non-profit organization solely dedicated to patient support and advocacy for people living with, or at risk for, lung cancer. Lung Cancer Alliance 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.
SOURCE Lung Cancer Alliance