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Lung Cancer Alliance Comments on National Cancer


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Lung Cancer Alliance Comments on National Cancer Report

Thursday September 7, 6:08 pm ET

Group Calls Annual Report to the Nation on the Status Of Cancer 'Overly Rosy and Misleading'

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lung Cancer Alliance today called the report issued yesterday by major cancer agencies "overly rosy and misleading."

While the press releases on the report, entitled "Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2003," touted some decreases in cancer incidence and death rates, Lung Cancer Alliance president Laurie Fenton said: "No one should be patting themselves on the back."


"In real numbers on actual deaths for 2003, cancer has overtaken heart disease as the primary cause of death in the United States in people 45 to 74, and the biggest single cancer has been and continues to be lung cancer," said Fenton, adding that "lung cancer is the second biggest cause of all deaths in the United States."

"Yes, progress has been made on reducing deaths from some cancers such as breast, prostate and colon cancers where money has been poured into research and early detection, and we applaud that," Fenton declared. "However, there is absolutely nothing to brag about with lung cancer, which has been consistently underfunded and remains the biggest cancer killer since the so- called war on cancer began in 1971."

Fenton noted that lung cancer causes three times as many deaths in men as prostate cancer, and nearly twice as many deaths in women as breast cancer. The 5 year survival rate is only 15% and the majority of people will die within months of diagnosis.

Press releases issued yesterday by the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and other cancer organizations try to bury the fact that the death rate for women with lung cancer continues to rise.

"In fact," declared Fenton, "lung cancer death rates for women have soared to epidemic proportions in the past two decades, especially in non-smoking women."

While most lung cancer is smoking related, non-smokers and former smokers now make up more than 60% of new lung cancer cases, and recent studies indicate that three quarters of non-smokers diagnosed with lung cancer are women.

"We have to stop pretending that tobacco cessation programs will eliminate lung cancer. There is a lot more going on here and I wonder when these cancer agencies will begin telling the public the facts about lung cancer and start putting appropriate funding into lung cancer research and early detection," Fenton concluded.

The Lung Cancer Alliance (http://www.LungCancerAlliance.org) is the only national non-profit organization solely dedicated to patient support and advocacy for people living with, or at risk for, lung cancer. As the number one cancer killer, lung cancer will kill more than 160,000 Americans this year alone, causing more deaths than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney cancers and melanoma combined.


National Center for Health Statistics

Deaths: Final Data for 2003. NVSR Volume 54, Number 13. 120 pp. (PHS)


All causes, both sexes: 2,448,288

Leading causes (all ages/both sexes)

Heart disease: 685,089*

Cancer: 556,902**

Cerebrovascular: 157,689

Chronic respiratory: 126,382

Accidents: 109.277

All cancers: 556,902

Lung cancer

Men: 89,964

Women: 68,122

Total: 158,086

Prostate cancer: 29,554

Breast cancer:

Men: 380

Women : 41,600

Total: 41,980

Colon cancer:

Men: 28,007

Women: 27,951

Total: 55,958

*Cancers exceed heart disease as the number one cause of death in people

aged 45-74.

*Lung Cancer is the second leading cause of all deaths in the United



Source: Lung Cancer Alliance

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