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50th Anniversary Of Surgeon General's Report On Smoking And Health Brings Renewed Focus On Ending Tobacco Related Deaths

Lung Cancer Alliance Along with Screening Centers Urge Focus on Lung Cancer Screening to Achieve Goal

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) joins other leaders in the public health community in commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the first Surgeon General's report on smoking and health. In addition to calling for a renewed focus to end tobacco related deaths, LCA is also advocating for responsible and equitable deployment of United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) approved lung cancer screening for those at high risk. CT screening has been proven to significantly reduce lung cancer deaths by thousands of lives a year.

"Lung cancer screening is the step in the war against needless tobacco related death that has been missing for the last 50 years," stated Lung Cancer Alliance President and CEO, Laurie Fenton Ambrose. "We support the full range of tobacco control. We are heartened to now add CT screening to this arsenal as we know screening past or current smokers for lung cancer will save many, many lives."

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the nation, taking nearly 160,000 lives each year.  The majority of lung cancers are attributable to smoking.  More than half of the patients diagnosed with lung cancer are former smokers, who heeded the Surgeon General's call to quit smoking.  Sadly, these former smokers remain at increased risk for lung cancer after quitting but most do not realize this. 

"Lung cancer is such a devastating disease, killing more people each year than breast, colon and prostate combined. Unfortunately, this is because this particular cancer generally presents itself very late. Until now, we have not yet had any way to detect this cancer in earlier stages," said Sandeep Khandhar, MD, Director, Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology program at Inova in Fairfax, VA. "It is in early stage disease that we have made the most impact. Advanced surgical resection with minimally invasive techniques works to eradicate the disease and help patients live better, longer lives. Lung cancer screening opens the door to this possibility."

"Lung cancer screening has also been shown to be an important tool in efforts to break the deadly addiction of tobacco," added Fenton Ambrose.

Responsible lung cancer screening - such as that offered in screening centers that adhere to Lung Cancer Alliance's National Framework for Excellence in Lung Cancer Screening and Continuum of Care must include cessation counseling for current smokers using proven cessation programs.

Learn more about lung cancer screening and find responsible screening center near you: http://www.lungcanceralliance.org/get-information/am-i-at-risk/ 

About Lung Cancer Alliance:
Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) is committed to saving lives and accelerating research by empowering people living with or at risk for lung cancer. LCA provides live, professional support, referral and information services to patients, their loved ones and those at risk for lung cancer; conducts national awareness campaigns including the award winning No One Deserves to Die Campaign attacking the stigma of the disease and the Moments Campaign spreading word about the risk and screening with a risk navigator tool for consumers; and advocates for multiple millions in public health dollars for lung cancer research. For more information please visit www.lungcanceralliance.org.

About Lung Cancer:
Lung cancer is the leading killer in the United States, taking more lives than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers combined. Each year, an estimated 160,000 lives are lost to lung cancer. Only 15 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive it. This is primarily because today the vast majority of lung cancers are diagnosed at a late stage.

CONTACT: Kay Cofrancesco, 202-742-1422, [email protected]

SOURCE Lung Cancer Alliance

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