An estimated 160,340 Americans will die of Lung Cancer this year. The leading cancer killer, there is a less than 5 % survival for patients diagnosed at the latest stages.
SAN CARLOS, Calif., Feb. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As strong advocates for funding research and screening for the early detection of Lung Cancer to save lives, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (BJALCF) supports efforts on behalf of Maryland legislators to steer state tobacco settlement funding and apply it to these initiatives for the early detection of Lung Cancer. We laud this legislation as a potential model for other states nationwide.
On February 10, legislation was introduced in the Maryland General Assembly that calls for a portion of the tobacco company
settlement dollars to be funneled directly toward early Lung Cancer detection and early detection research.
House Bill 1167 aims directly at $1.5 billion in funds named in Maryland's 1988 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), which requires certain tobacco companies to provide yearly funding as compensation for health consequences associated with smoking cigarettes. The proposed law, the "Cigarette Restitution Fund – Lung Cancer Screening and Biotechnology," provides a blueprint to earmark those monies for its biotechnology industry, specifically for the early detection of Lung Cancer.
To date, Maryland has received at least $1.5 billion from the tobacco companies as a result of the MSA, with about $150,000,000 to be received in fiscal year 2012, and annual payments anticipated for the next 15 years.
"The effect of Lung Cancer on Americans is simply staggering," said Bonnie J. Addario, founder of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, headquartered in San Carlos, CA, but with a national base of supporters and advocates. "We believe that early detection will have a dramatic impact on the survival rate of this disease. This law would be a potential model for the other states to follow in how tobacco tax dollars are distributed and allocated. We are firm believers that any funding toward early detection research is well spent and will save countless lives."
In August 2011, the results of the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial, which was a 7-year, $250,000,000 study, were published, proving conclusively that early detection of Lung Cancer can save substantial numbers of lives.
"There are many causes of Lung Cancer and smoking is just one of them," said Addario. "It is time for all states, following the lead of lawmakers in Maryland to direct more funding to early detection and Lung Cancer research. We strongly urge our representatives to base funding decisions on the facts that are most important. Anyone can get Lung Cancer. Someday we may know all the causes for all cancers, but in the meantime, we desperately need to fund the kinds of research that will extend lives and turn Lung Cancer into a chronic manageable disease."
About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
BJALCF is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation works with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change. BJALCF was established in 2006 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and has raised over nine million dollars for lung cancer research.
SOURCE Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation