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Veterans Organizations Call for Lung Cancer Screening
Date:2/14/2008

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Lung Cancer Alliance announced that for the second year in row, a coalition of top veteran organizations called for a screening program for veterans at high risk of lung cancer.

Rear Admiral Philip J. Coady, USN, (Ret.), chairman of LCA's Board of Directors said today, "LCA is deeply grateful to the leadership and foresight of these organizations for speaking out about the number one cancer killer."

A lung cancer screening program was included in the Independent Budget for Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09). This highly regarded comprehensive alternative budget, which addresses the most urgent needs of veterans, is being presented to Congress this week. The AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Veterans of Foreign wars are the four co-authors of this document.

"Lung cancer continues to kill more men and women every year than all the other major cancers -- breast, prostate, and colon -- combined, and our veterans are at even higher risk, especially those whose active duty service exposed them to Agent Orange, asbestos, spent nuclear fuels, propellant gases and other carcinogens," Coady said.

Admiral Coady, a thirty-four year Navy veteran who never smoked, was diagnosed with lung cancer three years ago.

"Because there are usually no specific symptoms, most people are diagnosed so late they die within a year," he pointed out. "Yet advanced CT technology available right now that can diagnose lung cancer at its earliest most curable stage is available, and high risk veterans not benefitting from this is wrong." he said.

Lung cancer is usually an indolent cancer that takes years to develop, thus the burden of treatment is falling most heavily on the VA. Late stage lung cancer is twice as costly to treat as early stage.

Meanwhile, a research program carried out by the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program at 40 centers in 26 states and 6 foreign countries over the past 13 years indicates that CT screening can detect lung cancer at Stage 1 in 85% of cases, and those treated immediately had a ten year survival rate of 92%.

By partnering with those sites, the Veterans' Administration could quickly implement a pilot screening program for veterans at high risk with a broad geographic reach and with significant cost savings.

The Independent Budget for FY09 cites the devastating statistics of lung cancer and urges Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs to initiate a $3 million pilot screening program for veterans at high risk.

Over 50 organizations support The Independent Budget, including LCA and the following:

AAALAC International

Administrators of Internal Medicine

African American Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Association

African American War Veterans, USA

Air Force Women Officers Association

Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine

American Coalition for Filipino Veterans

American Ex-Prisoners of War

American Federation of Government Employees

American Military Retirees Association

American Military Society

American Veterans Alliance, USA

American Volunteer Reserve

Armed Forces Top Enlisted Association

Association for Service Disabled Veterans

Association of American Medical Colleges

Association of Professors of Medicine

Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine

Association of Subspecialty Professors

Blinded Veterans Association

Catholic War Veterans, USA, Inc.

Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine

Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States

Fleet Reserve Association

Georgia Department of Veterans Service

Gold Star Wives of America

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Japanese American Veterans Association

Jewish War Veterans of the USA

Lung Cancer Alliance

Military Officers Association of America

Military Order of the Purple Heart of the USA, Inc.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Association of American Veterans, Inc.

National Association of State Head Injury Administrators

National Association of State Veterans Homes

National Association of Uniformed Services

National Association of Veterans' Research and Education Foundations

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

National Gulf War Resource Center, Inc.

National Spinal Cord Injury Association

Naval Reserve Association

Navy Seabee Veterans of America

New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus

Non Commissioned Officers Association

Society of Cuban American Veterans

Society of Hispanic Veterans

The Forty & Eight

United Spinal Association

United States Coast Guard CPOA/CGEA

United States Federation of Korea Veterans Organization

Veterans Affairs Physician Assistant Association

Vietnam Veterans of America

Washington State Office of the Governor

To view the Independent Budget go to http://www.lungcanceralliance.org.

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.

Media Contact:

Kay Cofrancesco

kay@lungcanceralliance.org

202-744-1541


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SOURCE Lung Cancer Alliance
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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