On December 19, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) praised Senator Scott Brown for his support for the first comprehensive lung cancer legislation now pending action in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act, S. 752 and H.R. 1394, is a bicameral, bipartisan call to action on the leading cause of cancer death.  Senator John Kerry is one of the primary sponsors of the Senate bill that was introduced earlier this year. Other supporters from the Massachusetts congressional delegation include Congressman Barney Frank, Stephen Lynch, John Olver and John Tierney.

Lung Cancer Alliance’s President & CEO Laurie Fenton-Ambrose said, “We are thrilled to see this strong bi-partisan recognition of the urgent need to have a better plan of action to address all aspects of lung cancer which we hope will continue to grow and include all members of the Massachusetts delegation.”

Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, nationally and in every ethnic group. According the National Cancer Institute estimates, this year, in Massachusetts more people will die of lung cancer €“ 3,490 €“ more than the combined total of deaths due to breast cancer (760), colon cancer (980) and prostate cancer (640).

Diane Legg, LCA-New England Co-Director said, “As a seven year survivor of lung cancer, it is reassuring to know that our elected leaders have heard our stories, have become better educated about the disease and have become proponents of a call to action that would put life-saving, cost-saving, cancer reducing benefits in motion.”

Rich Monopoli, LCA-New England Co-Director said, “Sadly, the impact of lung cancer goes beyond epidemic yet few people even know that today 80% of lung cancer patients have never smoked or had already quit, often decades ago.  That is why support for a more coordinated and comprehensive plan for this disease is so important €“ as it will help reduce lung cancer’s stigma and reverse decades of neglect.

The Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act is win-win for all and I am hopeful that the entire Massachusettsdelegation and their New England colleagues will join our call to action.” LCA has been building a network of support for the call to action which includes leading research, veterans, and minority health and labor organizations.

The legislation, H.R. 1394 in the House and S. 752 in the Senate, calls for the Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense and Affairs to develop a coordinated research, prevention, early detection and treatment effort with the specific goal of cutting lung cancer mortality in half by the end of the decade.

Lung Cancer Alliance is the only national non-profit dedicated to providing support and advocacy for those living with or at risk for lung cancer.  LCA is committed to reversing decades of stigma and neglect by empowering those with or at risk for lung cancer, elevating awareness and changing health policy at both the federal and state level. For more information visit: www.lungcanceralliance.org.


Image Courtesy of   http://www.flickr.com/photos/massgovernor/