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Lung Cancer Alliance Hails Massachusetts Senator for Taking Lead on Lung Cancer Legislation
Date:11/16/2007

Legislation Establishes First Ever Lung Cancer Early Detection and Treatment Research Trust Fund

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) hailed Senator Susan Fargo, the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health, for introducing legislation to create a trust fund for lung cancer research.

"This is a watershed moment for the entire lung cancer community and all of those at risk for the disease in Massachusetts," said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, LCA President and CEO. "We thank Senator Fargo for her willingness to step forward and address the critical need for increased lung cancer research for treatments and early detection."

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths nationally and in Massachusetts. Lung cancer claims more lives each year than breast, prostate, and colon cancers -- combined. In 2007, an estimated 5,060 Massachusetts citizens will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 3,630 will die from the disease. Over 70% are diagnosed at a late stage accounting for the low 15% survival rate.

Senator Fargo, the senate sponsor of Massachusetts' landmark Workplace Smoking Ban, and a vocal advocate for the revitalization of the state's tobacco control program, argues that research is vitally important in the fight against lung cancer, "There are too few opportunities for the research community to tackle this disease. Not surprisingly, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer patients has barely moved in decades," said Fargo.

"This bill will provide the funding to institute innovative lung cancer screening programs for those at high risk throughout the state, especially underserved populations," said Diane Legg, Lung Cancer Alliance-Massachusetts (LCA-MA) Co-chair. "In addition, the bill will enhance research on targeted therapies, chemoprevention, and disparities."

The bill, introduced today with 20 Senators and 50 House Members as co-sponsors, taps a portion of the cigarette excise revenue to establish screening programs for the high risk population, promote the development of new diagnostic and screening technologies for lung cancer, support research into the disparities surrounding lung cancer incidence and mortality rates, and support research to discover cures through the development of chemoprevention and targeted therapies.

"This is the first step of many to generate the funding and subsequently the research necessary to change lung cancer's grim statistics," said Joanne O'Connor, LCA-MA Co-chair. "We are committed to working with Senator Fargo and all of those who share our goal of reducing lung cancer's mortality rates through increased research funding."

Lung Cancer Alliance (http://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
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