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CT Bill 1033...update

Nick C

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I made it on the record...baby steps.

Public Health Committee


Bill No.:




Vote Date:


Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:


File No.:


Public Health Committee


To require the Department of Public Health to establish within available appropriations a pilot program to improve early diagnosis, detection and treatment of lung cancer.


Nancy Berger, Office of Multicultural Health and Comprehensive Cancer, Department of Public Health:

The hospital selection criteria specify that they are equipped with CT scanning and whether they serve low-income and underserved areas or populations. While all counties have some underserved designations based upon federal criteria, the largest number of medically underserved designations occurs in Fairfield, Hartford, and New Haven counties.

In May 2004, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concluded, “the evidence is insufficient to recommend for or against screening asymptomatic persons for lung cancer with either low dose computerized tomography (LDCT), chest x-ray (CXR), sputum cytology, or combination of these tests.” However, in October 2006 the New England Journal of Medicine suggests the efficacy of using LDCT at earlier stages. The question of whether earlier diagnosis actually leads to reduced mortality has not yet been determined.

Concerns that screening procedures also lead to false-positive test results and potential harms associated with invasive diagnostic testing has led the National Cancer Institute to recommend caution, suggesting that further evidence is needed to justify screening of asymptomatic individuals on a routine basis.

Teresa Younger, Executive Director, Permanent Commission on The Status of Women

The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and CWHC urge you to support this preventive public health program which, with limited dollars, should target racial and ethnic disparities I lung cancer and health care services.

While screening and detection are essential, prevention of tobacco–related addictions are also critical. Several years ago, Connecticut enacted legislation which would provide smoking cessation devices and counseling to Medicaid patients. To date, this program has not been implemented. It would be penny wise and pound foolish to invest in treatment while failing to recoup federal dollars for preventive care for nicotine addiction.

Glenn Cassis, Executive Director, African-American Affairs Commission

Lung cancer survival rates are disturbing for African Americans. The incidence rate among African American men is more than 50% higher than those of White males although their exposure to cigarette smoking, a primary risk factor for lung cancer, is lower.


Jerold R. Mande, Associate Director, Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine - Board Director , Connecticut Cancer Partnership – Former Cancer Policy Advisor at the White House

I urge the committee to proceed with caution. Tragically, unlike breast and colon cancer, we do not yet have a screening test for lung cancer that we know will extend life or improve the quality of life.

Connecticut Cancer Partnership has a proposal to establish a state lung cancer registry that would provide an important tool to enable Connecticut's scientists to lead the way in developing effective lung cancer screening programs.

Frank C. Detterbeck, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.C.C.P

Lung cancer causes more cancer deaths than the next four leading causes of deaths combined, and in fact lung cancer is the major driver of the overall cancer mortality rate in Connecticut. While we are able to battle many types of cancer, we have made little progress with lung cancer. The major reason for the high rate of lung cancer deaths is that our current health care system does not detect lung cancer until it is at an advanced stage in the majority of patients.

Judith A. Levi, Connecticut Lung Cancer Alliance

In Connecticut, approximately 2,720 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007 and 1,860 will die. These deaths will be caused by late diagnosis. The International Early Lung Cancer Action Project study found that the earliest stage of lung cancer can be detected in 85% of patients with annual CT screening.

Despite the compelling facts, lung cancer remains the most under-funded and under-researched of all major cancers. Only $1,800 is spent on federal research per lung cancer death while breast cancer receives $23,500 per estimated deaths and prostate cancer receives $14,500.

Nicholas T. Cappiello

Current medicine has the technology to screen those at risk. Mammograms, pap smears and colonoscopies are all prescribed for those in high risk groups and yet for the most lethal cancer, lung cancer, there is no effective screening practice in place.



Reported by: Beverley Henry

Date: 3-12-07

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Kathy (Harn)

The next step is there will probably be another public hearing...where and how all that goes down...not sure, this is an initial civics lesson for me.

However, making it through one committee is important.

As far as groups in CT, the Lung Cancer Alliance has a "chapter" here in CT (basically a representative who volunteers to run point) and Keri (my wife) is a member. This way they let her know when there is something LC related to do.

Something else I discovered was you don't have to be from a state to speak at a public hearing...lookout Albany and Boston...I'll be watching your state health agendas as well!

Everyone else, thanks for the kind words and support. I've not yet begun to fight.

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