July 6, 2011

Lung Cancer Alliance Praises International Statement on CT Screening


WASHINGTON, July 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) praised the position paper on CT screening issued by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) today at its biennial conference in Amsterdam.

Laurie Fenton-Ambrose, LCA President & CEO said the IASLC's consensus statement signals "a new beginning."

"The question is no longer does CT screening work, but how do we bring this benefit to those at high risk as safely, efficiently and equitably as possible, and IASLC's call for international cooperation on reaching that goal as expeditiously as possible is a very positive and important development," she said.

"We must get moving on this and start saving lives," said Fenton Ambrose, who pointed out that tens of thousands of lung cancer deaths a year in the United States could be averted by early detection. Over 156,000 people a year die of lung cancer in the United States, more than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined, and no significant progress has been made in reducing its 85% mortality rate over the past forty years.

For six years, LCA has been building leadership and bipartisan support in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for a federal comprehensive and coordinated plan of action on lung cancer and early detection, and has put together a coalition of key national public health advocacy organizations, including those representing women, minorities, veterans and social justice issues.

Lung cancer is the most lethal cancer in the United States among every ethnic group, and worldwide. But if diagnosed at early stage, lung cancer can often be treated, usually by surgery, and cured.

The IASLC position paper noted that CT screening is the first test of any type to demonstrate significant reduction of lung cancer mortality through early detection and called for international cooperation and national screening programs around the world to refine the process.

Fenton Ambrose said that pilot programs to help bring quality CT screening to community hospitals and VA centers as well as centers of excellence around the country have been included in the most recent lung cancer legislation introduced with bipartisan support in both houses after the start of the new Congress earlier this year.

That legislation also calls for a more coordinated and comprehensive plan of action to address all aspects of lung cancer, including cutting edge research in genetic testing and targeted treatments for non-smoking and smoking related lung cancers.

Fenton Ambrose praised the IASLC's call for better integration of public health messages for both tobacco control and lung cancer early detection.

"The majority of new lung cancer cases are former smokers who were not being warned that they could still be at risk years, or even decades, after quitting," she said.

LCA recently opened the first publicly available website designed to help people answer questions about CT screening, such as "Am I at risk?" and "Where should I go?"

The website can be accessed at: www.screenforlungcancer.org

Lung Cancer Alliance, www.lungcanceralliance.org, is the only national non-profit dedicated exclusively 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 patients, elevating awareness and changing health policy.

Follow Lung Cancer Alliance on Facebook: www.facebook.com/lungcanceralliance

Media Contact:
Kay Cofrancesco
[email protected]

SOURCE Lung Cancer Alliance