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NCI Lung Cancer Research Funding


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I recently was at the Lung Cancer Alliance site and read a letter to Congressman Shaw who is dealing with lung cancer. He has written a wonderful letter to Secretary Michael Leavitt regarding lung cancer, but I was concerned about one sentence. It calls for the NCI research funding to shift "including a transition from the current focus on late stage treatment to the responsible detection and management of early stage disease." This letter is being circulated in Congress for signatures. Here's the site:


LCA is asking everyone to write our representatives in support of their signing the letter. I wrote Congressman Shaw and all my representatives (and cc'd Laurie Fenton) asking that they sign the letter only if that part is amended. Funding cannot be shifted away from all those with late stage - that is the vast majority of those with lung cancer! It is unthinkable that those who are paying the biggest price for the decades of underfunding, now be abandoned in a shifting of research funding. Instead additional funding can be found by appropriate use of tobacco tax and settlement monies, to increase detection and management of early stage AND new treatment options for late stage.

What do you think about this? We're talking millions of $$ here!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Joyce and all:

I missed your post, but I am bumping it up. I agree with the additional comments Joyce has made. Here is the Text of an email I received today from www.4walc.org urging a letter writing campaign:

Dear Women Against Lung Cancer supporters,

As some of you may know, Congressman Clay Shaw has had a reoccurrence of his lung cancer, and has taken it upon himself to write a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Michael Leavitt, noting how few federal resources have been devoted to lung cancer research. He is asking all members of the House to sign this letter as individuals, that is, he is not bringing this to the floor – he’s making it more personal. Attached to this email is the text of the letter, as well as a letter from a survivor, Lori Monroe, who is asking everyone to write their own representatives BY THE END OF THE DAY FRIDAY, JUNE 24 to talk about how lung cancer has touched their lives and ask them to sign Rep. Shaw’s letter to Secretary Leavitt.

Should you choose to write to your Congressional representative (and we hope you do!), know that postal mail is not readily accepted. Faxes are best, emails are second best. To find your representative’s contact information, go to www.house.gov [/b]Please feel free to use Lori’s letter as a template, and insert your own statement about how lung cancer has impacted you.

There is power in numbers!

Best wishes,

Regina Vidaver, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Women Against Lung Cancer

P.O. Box 5589

Madison, WI 53705


Fax: (608)233-7893



•I do not know how to make attachments on this forum, so I am just cutting and pasting the documents. Joyce provided the link to Rep. Shaw's letter in her post. Here is a format letter you can use should you choose to write your representatives:

The Honorable (full name)

___rm # of ___ House Office Building

United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative _________,

Recently House Members Clay Shaw, Jr. and Collin Peterson, sent you a proposed letter to be sent to Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services calling for a substantial increase in federal funding for, and commitment by, the Department of Health and Human Services for lung cancer research.

I have attached a copy of the proposed letter to be sent to Secretary Leavitt and strongly encourage you to endorse Representative’s Shaw’s and Representative Peterson’s letter to Secretary Leavitt. Please contact Christine Pollack at Representative Shaw’s office or Robin Goracke at Representative Peterson’s office for further information and to convey your support.

The initiative proposed by Representative Shaw is an important one and one with which I am intimately associated. Approximately three and one-half years ago, I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at age 42 and given a very poor prognosis; the chances for my long-term survival are not very promising. I have endured 4 lung surgeries, and chemotherapy and nearly a year of an experimental drug made possible through lung cancer research. Nonetheless, though, I am one of the lucky ones, most diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer do not survive even 12 months.

Unfortunately, the statistics for lung cancer survival remain grim. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women comprising 30% of all cancer deaths – causing more deaths than breast, prostate, colon, liver, melanoma and kidney cancer combined. The overall survival rate for lung cancer is 15%; and, for people whose lung cancer is diagnosed and treated in an early stage, the average five-year survival year increases to 49%. Counterbalanced against that encouraging statistic, though, is the fact that only 15% of those people ultimately diagnosed with lung cancer are diagnosed at an early stage.

The National Cancer Institute has set 2015 as a goal to eliminate suffering and death from cancer. Clearly, I, together with other cancer survivors as well as those at risk for lung cancer share in that goal. Nonetheless, in order to reverse these bleak statistics which have come to define lung cancer, substantial efforts need to be undertaken for lung cancer research, which research efforts remain poorly funded, especially when viewed against the backdrop of other research monies available for other cancers. To reach our 2015 goal we need to: (1) continue and expand existing multi-disciplinary translational lung cancer research programs leading to early diagnostic tools to detect lung cancer at an early stage, (2) continue and expand existing multi-disciplinary translational lung cancer research programs leading to innovative and effective treatment methodologies, and (3) provide lung cancer – specific education and training to physicians, the public, caregivers, patients and family on lung cancer issues and progress.

Please join all of us in realizing this goal. An important start can be undertaken by endorsing Representative Shaw’s and Representative Peterson’s letter to Secretary Leavitt.

Thank you,

Yours truly,

Change this to your own info:

Lori Monroe

660 Crossings Court

Bowling Green, KY 42104


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