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Lung Cancer Leads in Death, But Not in Research Funds


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http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti ... 68/OPINION

As a pulmonary physician and scientist who researches lung cancer, I find the inaccuracy that breast and colon cancers are the leading killers as profoundly frustrating as it is unsurprising ("Cancer death rates fall even faster," Oct. 15). On many occasions, I have seen the look of surprise or incredulity when I share the facts with friends, patients, even colleagues in the medical field.

The fact is that the No. 1 cancer killer in this country and in the developed world is lung cancer. Nothing else even comes close. Lung cancer kills more people in the United States than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined.

It is time for our society to wake up to this truth and do something about it. The most common response I get when pointing this out is: "Yes, but isn't that due to cigarette smoking?" Well, of course it is. However, also omitted from public discourse is the fact that even in the absence of cigarette smoking, lung cancer in never-smokers would still be the third-leading cause of cancer deaths.

Let us just suspend, for the moment, the issue of whether it is ethical to blame the still smoking victims. Are we also to ignore the suffering of the thousands of nonsmokers and former smokers who will die painful, agonizing deaths as a result of lung cancer? This is precisely what our current public policies are doing.

As a scientist who studies lung cancer, I compete with my colleagues for a very small pot of money earmarked for this most lethal of cancers. For every dollar available to lung cancer researchers in this country, my colleagues who study prostate cancer can divide up $6. The disparity is even greater for breast cancer, where $9 is spent by the government for every one spent on lung cancer research.

Yet, for the 20th consecutive year, more women will die of lung cancer this year than of breast cancer.

The disparity between funding and mortality is consistent with a lukewarm commitment from the scientific community to study lung cancer as well. The number of investigators studying rare cancers such as those derived from bone marrow far exceeds the number studying lung cancer. State governments also miss the boat on this issue, as many use their tobacco settlement money to balance their budgets -- or worse -- and not to address the tobacco-related illnesses this money was intended to combat.

Lung cancer advocates have learned one thing from our colleagues in the breast cancer field. We have a ribbon, too. It is not pink, but a clear, see-through ribbon, to signify the invisible epidemic that is lung cancer.

It is long past time for a change. We need more public focus on this insidious killer. We need research on early detection, screening and better treatments. We need to use the tobacco settlement funds on tobacco control and lung cancer research, not on merit scholarships for the least needy of our high school students, and we need the few lung cancer survivors out there to band together and make their voices heard.

Douglas Arenberg, MD

Associate professor of medicine

Pulmonary and critical care

Ann Arbor

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If that got you fired up yo9u are gonna really hate this story then

Cancer drops not seen in women with lung cancer

Source: (cancerfacts.com)

Monday, October 15, 2007

WASHINGTON – Oct. 15, 2007 – While the number diagnosed and dying from lung cancer dropped for men, both rates increased for women, says Lung Cancer Alliance President and CEO Laurie Fenton Ambrose.

Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2004, released earlier today by the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Cancer Society, indicates that the overall death rate from cancer dropped by 2.1 percent during 2002 to 2004.

As good as that news is, Fenton Ambrose warned that it is not shared equally across the board for all cancers, and that much more needs to be done.

Public health policy officials credited screening as one of the key factors in the escalating decrease in the overall cancer death rate, "an option that these same public health officials are not encouraging for those at high risk for lung cancer," she noted.

Between last year's report and this year's, the number of women being diagnosed with lung cancer rose from 54.7 women for each 100,000 of population to 55.2, and the number of women dying of lung cancer rose slightly from 41 per 100,000 of population to 41.1.

According to NCI statistics, this year an estimated 70,880 women will die of lung cancer, more than breast cancer (40,460) ovarian cancer( 15,280), uterine (7,400) and cervical cancer (3,400) combined.

"The numbers are horrendous," Fenton Ambrose said, "and so is the under funding of research into this cancer which has been stigmatized and blamed on the patient even though the majority of new cases are being diagnosed in former smokers or people who never smoked. Twenty percent of women getting lung cancer now have never smoked."

Lung cancer is still the biggest single cancer killer by a wide margin taking more lives each year than the next most common cancers -- breast, prostate, and colon -- combined.

"That hasn't changed," she said, "and while we are seeing a slight drop in the rate at which men are being diagnosed and dying of lung cancer, this is not true for women. We cannot continue to ignore this epidemic."

Lung Cancer Alliance (http://www.LungCancerAlliance.org) is the only national non-profit organization dedicated exclusively 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.

SOURCE: Adapted from press release issued by the Lung Cancer Alliance

SORRY TO TELL THAT STORY but it is true from Lung Cancer alliance!!

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