Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act

I have just returned from attending the National Advocacy Conference: Call on Congress 2012, in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Lung Cancer Alliance. After a day of preparation and training, about 130 of us lung cancer survivors and loved ones of those who have lost the battle went to Capitol Hill and met with our lawmakers and/or their staff members to ask for their support for the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act. I thought some of you might be interested in this bill and its background, so I’m posting this summary.

We all know that lung cancer is the most deadly of all cancers, killing about 160,000 Americans every year, which is more than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. And there has been no real change in the 15% 5-year survival rate for lung cancer since Nixon declared the War on Cancer in 1971. The Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act calls for the creation of a comprehensive plan to address this lung cancer epidemic by a 3-pronged approach: 1) prevention and cessation of smoking and other risk factors, 2) early detection by low-dose CT scanning, and 3) additional research.

The amazing thing that happened when we went to see our lawmakers is that most of them were very receptive to what we had to say, and some were openly supportive. They seemed to understand that lung cancer is not just a smoker’s disease. Twenty percent of those diagnosed have never smoked at all, sixty percent are former smokers, and only 20 percent are current smokers. And regardless, no one deserves to get lung cancer. We were also able to point out that an NCI study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in June 2011 showed a 20% reduction in lung cancer mortality with low-dose CT scanning (http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/pressreleases/2011/NLSTprimaryNEJM/print). This is greater than the benefit from current screening methods for breast and colon cancers (mammograms and colonoscopies), and the radiation involved is less than in a 2-view mammogram. Then a study released earlier this month (April 2012) showed that the cost of CT screening for lung cancer is less than the cost for breast or colon cancer screenings per life saved (http://www.mifimaging.com/study-finds-lung-cancer-screens-are-cost-efficien t.html).

Right now, when data on the benefit, safety, and cost effectiveness of CT screening are coming together and when we have just spoken with about 150 lawmakers/staff in Washington, is an excellent time to contact your own U.S. senators and representatives to ask for their support for the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act. The Senate bill is S. 752 and in the House it is H.R. 1394. You can see the text of the bill and see if your lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors yet at thomas.gov. You can get information about how you can be further involved from the Lung Cancer Alliance (http://www.lungcanceralliance.org/get-involved/lung-cancer-advocacy/).

This would also be a good time to ask the American Cancer Society to support the bill and its comprehensive approach to lung cancer, especially given that the American Lung Association just announced its support on April 24, 2012, the same day we were advocating on Capitol Hill (http://www.lungcanceralliance.org/news/lung-cancer-alliance-news/2012-lca-n ews/more-organizations-join-lung-cancer-alliance-in-support-of-lung-cancer- early-detection-and-research.html). We all know that the only nod the ACS has given to lung cancer is its smoking cessation program. It’s time they, too, broadened their campaign to include early detection and research.

If we want to reduce cancer, we have to reduce lung cancer, which accounts for 30% of all cancer deaths. We have the opportunity to do just that at this unique time in history. Please spread the word.

Best wishes to all,
Kathy

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16 replies. Join the discussion

Kathy this is great that lawmakers are receptive to this bill. What needs to happen is we all need to get out on our social media for friends, and family to get the word out. What needs to happen with this is people need to call the Congressmen, and Senators and push this bill to be passed.

Here is links to the Senate and Congress phone numbers e-mails and addresses!
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
https://www.numbersusa.com/content/congress/phone-numbers-and-mailing-addre sses-memb.html

Please pass the info on this bill to your local congress and senate. The only way you can get them behind something is to bombard them with phone calls e-mails and letters!

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BRAVO! Thank you for all the info.

Marie

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Hi Kathy,
Thank you for all the info.
As a result of the NLST study, the scans for existing LC Patients are now being reduced and denied.Our insurers are using the new guidelines against existing LC Patients.(An alleged, indirect result of this study-Being manipulated by Insurers)
I have read the new guidelines & understand NLST Study is to establish screening for an UN-diagnosed population. Meanwhile those already living w/ LC are being denied formerly routine PET/CT's. To appeal these denials we need to access the source of our Insurers "guidelines", as I was instructed to do by LCA. Months of research and inquiries (to our LC Orgs.) have availed no answers as to the "take aways" LC Patients have incurred.
Was this addressed or discussed at the conference?
Looking for answers for existing LC Patients.
Thank You, Betsy

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Hi, Kathy.

Thanks so much for what you're doing.

Richard

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@MOMismyhero - Thanks for the lawmaker contact link!

@ Betsy - That issue did not come up at the conference. I'll let you know if I find out anything about it. May I share your post with my contacts at the LCA?

@ Marie and Richard - You're welcome!

Anyone interested in being involved in lung cancer advocacy / awareness / support , please contact the Lung Cancer Alliance: http://www.lungcanceralliance.org/.

:)
Kathy

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Kathy-Please do share post w/ LCA-I've asked all 3 of our LC Orgs. and can't get an answer.
Thank You! :)

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Very interesting info. March on.
Liz

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Wrote my Congress men after reading this post. Please, Inspire friends. Write them, it is easy. All you have to do is mention the bill and ask them to support it. Our voices do make a difference. (I am a lobbier from home) I post and pray over my request. Somehow, I feel it makes a difference. There is no way the people representing us can represent us is to hear our voices and concerns. Please click on the link, and find your congressmen- and speak up!

Thanks Kathy for drawing this to my attention.
Julie JB

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Oh Thank you for this information, I am taking it and running with it!!!!!!!

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Way to go, Julie and Mainer!

For anyone wanting more LC stats, here's an informative 2012 Fact Sheet from the LCA:

http://www.lungcanceralliance.org/assets/docs/media/LCA%20Funding%20Fact%20 Sheet%202012.pdf

The time is so right for this. The LCA says we are at the tipping point.

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Kathy

Thanks for the info & standing up for us!!

Heidi

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Thank you. Great info.

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Hi Everyone,

You are all welcome, and you are welcome to use the info I have posted anyway you like, including cutting and pasting. Thank you all for your interest and for helping spread the word and for contacting your senators and congresspersons. The awareness we can bring to lung cancer issues the better! And don't hesitate to contact the Lung Cancer Alliance if you want to get more involved. They are a great group of people and will welcome your help: http://www.lungcanceralliance.org.

Here is some additional material with facts/figures, publications, etc. from the Lung Cancer Alliance: http://www.lungcanceralliance.org/for-other-audiences/for-media/

Sorry about the bad experience you had at the lung cancer dinner, rabeaz. Unfortunately, that's not uncommon, I'm sure.

Best wishes to all,
Kathy

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Thank you Kathy and others for all the info. This is the push I needed to get involved.

Sundance11

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Kathy,

Thanks much. I went to edit my original post and ended up deleting.

Thank you again for the info.


Best wishes-Laurie

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I am so with you on this!

What really makes me mad is that when my mom was pregnant (born 1968) she was actually TOLD by her docs to smoke and given a booklet on how it helps with constipation. She never smoked (didn't take him up) and neither did I. But seriously....those tobacco companies knew it was bad, for years and years, got millions of people addicted and here we sit. They are to be at fault.

Now we have to try and undo what has been done so that everyone, regardless of situation, has a chance against this evil evil disease!

I'll do my part!

Lynn

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