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May 11, 2008--Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) President & CEO Laurie Fenton-Ambrose said today: “We pay tribute to all mothers on Mothers Day and renew our commitment to them to end the silent epidemic of lung cancer.”
The number of women dying from lung cancer continues to increase year after year and most do not even know that lung cancer will kill nearly twice as many women as breast cancer.
Women must become educated about lung cancer and they must demand action by public health policy makers.
One in five women being diagnosed now with lung cancer has never smoked.
“This is an epidemic and despite the numbers, in dollars per death lung cancer research is receiving only 6% of the amount of federal funding that breast cancer receives,” she said.
Even with the increase of lung cancer in women who have never smoked, current or former smoking is still the primary factor in most new cases.
“The message is clear. Don’t start and we urge all women still smoking to quit. We understand how very difficult this is and how much a caring community can help. We highly recommend the American Legacy Foundation’s new program “Become an Ex” which can be found at http://www.becomeanex.org.
“We reject the stigma and blame that all lung cancer patients face whether they smoked or not. This is a disease not a punishment.” she said, adding that women who have smoked, been exposed to lung cancer carcinogens or who have a family member with lung cancer should talk to their doctors about their risk of lung cancer and screening.
“Something is seriously wrong when breast cancer, which has a 5-year survival rate of
88.9 %, receives 16 times more federal research funding per death than lung cancer which has a 5-year survival rate of 15%.
“Unless we approach lung cancer with the same sense of urgency and compassion that has dramatically reduced mortality in other cancers, lung cancer will continue to kill more women than breast, ovarian, uterine and cervical cancers combined,” she concluded.