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Lung Cancer Alliance Hails Massachusetts State Senator for Taking Lead on Lung Cancer
Date:1/15/2009

For Second Straight Year, Legislation Introduced to Fund Lung Cancer Research

BOSTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) hailed Senator Susan Fargo (D-3rd Middlesex), the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health, for once again introducing comprehensive legislation that creates a trust fund for lung cancer research.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081016/LCALOGO)

"Now is the time for positive change for lung cancer in Massachusetts," said Joanne O'Connor, LCA-Massachusetts (LCA-MA) Co-chair. "On behalf of those touched by lung cancer in Massachusetts, we thank Senator Fargo for her continued leadership in addressing the critical need for increased lung cancer research."

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 2008, an estimated 4,930 Massachusetts citizens were diagnosed with lung cancer and 3,600 were lost to the disease. Over 70% are diagnosed at a late stage accounting for the low 15% survival rate.

"There are too few opportunities for the research community to tackle lung cancer and make an impact on survival rates," said Senator Fargo. "This legislation is intended to drive lung cancer research forward in many different areas as well as to allow researchers to find innovative new methods of diagnosing and treating the disease."

"This bill provides the funding needed to institute innovative lung cancer screening programs for those at high risk throughout the state, especially rural and underserved populations," said Diane Legg, lung cancer survivor and LCA-MA Co-chair. "In addition, the bill enhances research that has been lacking on targeted therapies, chemoprevention, and disparities."

The bill, introduced this week, establishes screening programs for the high risk population, promotes the development of new diagnostic and screening technologies for lung cancer, supports research into the disparities surrounding lung cancer incidence and mortality rates, and supports research to discover cures through the development of chemoprevention and targeted therapies.

"I commend Senator Fargo for her work in raising awareness of lung cancer as an under-recognized and under-funded health priority," Yolonda Colson, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Thoracic Surgery and Director, Women's Lung Cancer Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

"We are committed to working with Senator Fargo, other members of the state legislature, public health organizations and all who share our goal of reducing lung cancer's mortality rates through increased research funding," O'Connor said.

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.

    Media Contact:
    Joanne O'Connor
    joconnor@lungcanceralliance.org
    781-335-4727


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SOURCE Lung Cancer Alliance
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