Calls on Entire Delegation to Support Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act
ATLANTA, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Lung Cancer Alliance-Georgia (LCA-GA) thanked Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) for being an original sponsor of the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act (S. 752), authorizing legislation that establishes a multi-agency, comprehensive research program addressing all aspects of lung cancer, and called on the entire delegation of Georgia to show their support for the lung cancer community.
"We thank Senator Isakson for taking the lead with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA) to call for a compassionate and comprehensive research plan of action for lung cancer," said Ed Levitt, lung cancer survivor and Co-Director of LCA-GA. "He has been a steadfast champion for all of those in Georgia who have been impacted by lung cancer. We are grateful for his continued compassion and commitment."
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death nationally and in Georgia, in every ethnic group. In 2011, it will take more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers—combined. Of those diagnosed 80% will be either former smokers or will have never smoked at all. Lung cancer accounts for 30% of all cancer deaths.
"The Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act would make a significant impact on the lives of Georgians with lung cancer," said LCA-GA Advisory Board Member, Dan Miller, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Surgical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at The Emory Clinic. "Thank you, Senator Isakson, for your leadership and concern for your fellow Georgians. Now is the time for all Georgians to follow his example and pledge to work together to reduce lung cancer mortality here in our state."
"The demonstration project for lung cancer screening included in the LCMRA is critical to extending the benefit of screening to those at high risk for lung cancer," said Henry J. Krebs III, M.D., Atlanta Radiology Consultants, P. C., Interventional Radiology, Diagnostic Radiology, Breast Imaging. "We can save lives and reduce overall cancer mortality when we screen for lung cancers."
"This is truly a watershed in the much needed societal support for lung cancer research," said Taofeek K. Owonikkoko, MD, PhD. Assistant professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory Cancer Winship Cancer Institute. "Kudos to Senator Isakson for taking a lead in this laudable effort."
"We must make a coordinated and comprehensive effort to reduce all lung cancer deaths in the state of Georgia, especially among those who we know are at higher risk, like former smokers, the military, those with exposures to asbestos or secondhand smoke and those with a family history of lung cancer," continued Levitt.
The legislation requires the Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense and Veterans Affairs to devise and coordinate a comprehensive public health strategy that combines prevention and cessation with early detection and treatment research.
The legislation also calls for a screening demonstration program to begin the process of translating the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) recent scientific validation that low-dose CT screening of an at-risk population can significantly reduce lung cancer mortality into public health benefit.
"We are confident that Senator Isakson's leadership on this issue will encourage other Senators to join this growing list of endorsers. Additionally, we will work to secure endorsement and support from the entire Georgia congressional delegation of the House companion bill, HR 1394," concluded Levitt. "We will not rest until we have unanimous support for this landmark legislation that will improve lung cancer outcomes throughout Georgia."
Lung Cancer Alliance (www.LungCancerAlliance.org) is the only national non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to patient support and advocacy for those 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.
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SOURCE Lung Cancer Alliance