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:
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.
|SOURCE Lung Cancer Alliance|
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