LUNGevity Foundation Cites Disproportionate Impact of Lung Cancer on Veterans

Organization Recommits to Funding Critical Research

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, on Veterans Day, LUNGevity Foundation, with the largest research awards program of any lung cancer-focused organization in the U.S., notes the promising advances in the pursuit of better outcomes and better management for lung cancer patients, including the nation's veteran community.

Andrea Stern Ferris, President and Chairman of LUNGevity Foundation, noted, "This reminder of the hope and promise of today's lung cancer research is particularly relevant today, Veterans Day, because our nation's 26 million U.S. veterans are disproportionately affected by lung cancer, the number one cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. The fact that Veterans Day takes place in the midst of Lung Cancer Awareness Month has added significance."

Originally known as Armistice Day, the holiday was first proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in November 1919 at the conclusion of the first World War, when he urged parades and public commemorations. Congress, in 1938, made November 11th a legal annual holiday. The observations have grown and changed over the decades reflecting the issues of the day.

"Our nation owes so much to our veterans, past and present, and organizations from coast to coast are helping our veterans and their families in a variety of ways. Today LUNGevity Foundation recommits our organization to the funding of critical research which has the potential to improve and save lives of lung cancer patients, especially those within our military community," said Ferris.

Dr. Pierre Massion is Ingram Professor of Cancer Research at Vanderbilt Medical Center, Chair of LUNGevity Foundation's Scientific Advisory Board, and a physician at the Nashville Veterans Affairs Medical Center with significant experience in lung cancer research. Dr. Massion noted, "The progress we are making in dealing with lung cancer in our veteran community is encouraging. We now have a method for lung cancer screening that works and is cost effective - the low-dose chest CT scan. It could be preventing 12,000 Americans from dying of lung cancer every year."

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of non-federal experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, is developing screening recommendations for particularly vulnerable populations that include members of the veteran community. According to Dr. Massion, the Department of Veterans Affairs is developing strategies to implement screening programs, and the progress and increased access for early detection and early treatment are changing the prognosis for lung cancer patients.

Dr. Massion stated, "As important as the progress in early detection is the exciting news about new targeted treatments that are tailored to patients' tumor genetic makeup, and the positive results from boosting their immune responses to attack the tumors. These strategies are making great progress in our quest to prolong the lives of all our cancer patients, including the veterans I have worked with at the Nashville Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Continued research, and the critical funding to support it, will increase our ability to successfully treat our nation's lung cancer patients, especially our disproportionately affected veterans."

Since 2002, LUNGevity has funded projects representing more than $16 million spent on 100 research projects at 56 institutions in 23 states and has connected people to lung cancer survivorship through research, education, and support. Throughout the year, LUNGevity coordinates grassroots and large-scale initiatives with the goal of funding research in order to extend patients' lives and improve quality of life post-diagnosis. The research is specifically focused on expediting development of an effective early-detection strategy and identifying therapeutic agents that provide customized genetic intervention for lung cancer.

About Lung Cancer

  • 1 in 14 Americans is diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime.
  • About 60 percent of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers.
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, regardless of gender or ethnicity.
  • Lung cancer kills almost twice as many women as breast cancer and more than three times as many men as prostate cancer.
  • Only 16 percent of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, but if it's caught before it spreads, the chance for 5-year survival improves to 52 percent.

About LUNGevity Foundation
LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as by providing community, support, and education for all those affected by the disease. Our vision is a world where no one dies of lung cancer. For more information about LUNGevity Foundation, please visit www.LUNGevity.org.

LUNGevity will host a variety of educational, informational, and fundraising programs and events throughout November. Activities will include:

  • A webinar to discuss current and evolving management issues in squamous cell carcinoma, "Squamous Cell NSCLC: Growing Understanding and Expanding Treatment Options" on November 12 at 2-3 pm Eastern, 11 am - noon Pacific. RSVP at www.LUNGevity.org/webinars.

SOURCE LUNGevity Foundation



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