WASHINGTON, April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Legacy®, through an unrestricted educational grant from Genentech, launches two new resources devoted to helping smokers understand their risks for lung cancer and reducing their risks for mortality.
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Lung cancer is the nation's number one cancer killer of both men and women, accounting for 28 percent of all cancer deaths. More Americans are killed by lung cancer than by breast cancer, prostate cancer, or any other cancer. Up to 90 percent of lung cancer cases result from smoking and no current treatment can cure lung cancer. Early detection is the key to better quality and longevity of life.
"Being a former smoker myself, I am excited that we have the opportunity to educate smokers and non-smokers alike about the importance and promise of CT scans through these two new resources," said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, President and CEO of Legacy. "I have a consistent dialogue with my doctors, which I encourage for all smokers, and get CT scans just as routinely as I receive mammography."
The National Lung Cancer Screening Trial found 20 percent fewer lung cancer deaths among high-risk smokers (i.e., older, current and former heavy smokers), who were screened with low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans than among those screened with chest X-rays.
A CT scan is an x-ray-based screening test that takes a full 360-degree view of different parts of the body and can be used to view inside the lungs. The CT scan is a noninvasive procedure that takes a cross-sectional picture, or a "slice," of the body. CT scans can show the size, shape and location of organs, tissues even tumors within the body. Because the scan is so sensitive, it is more likely to detect smaller abnormalities in the lungs.
This series of videos provides expert commentary about using CT scans to detect lung cancer from Dr. James Mulshine, M.D., Vice President of Research, Rush University Medical Center. In one of the videos, Dr. Mulshine has an open dialogue with John, a current smoker, about the process of CT scans. In another, Dan, a former smoker, describes his experience of having a CT scan firsthand. The set of videos aim to educate former and current smokers on the process of lung cancer screenings. Downloadable fact sheets answer questions about the scan and promote conversations that smokers should have with their clinicians about accessing spiral CT scans. Both resources are available at http://www.BecomeAnEX.org/Spiral_CT_Scan.php.
"Since lung cancer screening is such a new approach, it is important that we work to get the word out," said Dr. James Mulshine, M.D., Vice President of Research, Rush University Medical Center. "With evidence emerging that spiral CT screenings are effective, I hope both current and former smokers use these videos as a means of encouragement to take control of their health."
As early as 2004, Legacy first voiced support of the promise of this technology, before most in public health were willing to do so. Legacy continues to fund an ongoing analysis of the pressing question of whether CT scans for lung cancer will encourage smokers to quit or make them delay cessation even longer.
In conjunction with the CT scan videos and downloadable factsheets, a discussion group for cancer survivors has been launched on the BecomeAnEX.org website. This new online group within the community is a place for cancer survivors to share stories and support one another in quit smoking attempts. The group provides cancer patients with a healthy outlet in which to discuss their challenges and victories, as well as gain the support of others.
EX, a national quit smoking campaign spearheaded by Legacy, provides a free comprehensive quit plan with tools and information that can help smokers form their own individual quit plans. The EX website serves as a convening point for smokers who want to quit and collaborate on their successes and challenges with others going through the same struggle.
Founded more than 30 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.
EX® is a collaborative public health campaign presented by the National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation, a partnership of the nation's leading public health organizations and states. The campaign helps smokers prepare to quit and guides them to useful resources that foster successful quit attempts including the EX plan, a free personalized quit plan available on the campaign's website www.BecomeAnEX.org. EX is the culmination of several years of research and testing, combining an understanding of the power of nicotine addiction with messages that resonate with and motivate smokers toward behavior change. The EX approach is peer to peer and focuses on "re-learning life without cigarettes" by encouraging smokers to think differently about the process of quitting. The EX website helps smokers create their own individual plan to quit and connects them to a virtual community of other smokers where they can share stories and strategies about quitting. Founding members of the NATC include numerous states and the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the National Cancer Institute, Legacy, C-Change, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and clinical partner, Mayo Clinic.
Legacy is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, D.C., the national public health organization helps Americans live longer, healthier lives. Legacy develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco, through grants, technical assistance and training, partnerships, youth activism, and counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns. The foundation's programs include truth®, a national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as having contributed to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. The American Legacy Foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. Visit http://www.legacyforhealth.org/.