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A step backwards for the detection of Lung Cancer?

Nick C

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I have been a big detection of lung cancer advocate. Many of the studies our fundation has funded has been in the area of detection (we contributed to a detection study Lungevity was doing last year). Whether it will be CT, sputum, blood marker...I don't really care which one ends up working. But if it can be proven that Lung Cancer can be detected early, then more surgeries will happen...more surgeries more survivors yadda yadda.

However with the recent news of decreasing detection efforts for breast cancer, I'm extremely troubled.

My mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the age of 45...she never had a recurrence because she caught it so early. That's 5 years before this panel recommendation says start mamograms...and then only every two years?!?!?! Seriously?

I think we all hate all kinds of cancers, but for the first time I saw a real need for solidarity...what happens to one will effect the other. A rising tide raises all ships...the pap smear was at one time not standard, the mamogram was at one time not standard, the colonoscopy, the PSA test on and on...one day our ship will rise with these other cancers and we will have detection...not soon enough...but in time we will...as long as these accomplishments aren't sunk.

If mamograms are made less relevant...the argument to make Lung Cancer screening relevant will become a much harder fight.

I have written a friend at Lung Cancer Alliance and noted we need a statement from them about this. I am also writing our contact at I-ELCAP to encourage a press release from them as well.

We need to contact all of our respectuive LC orgs which we have close ties to and get them to speak out for the cause of breast cancer screenings, one because it has saved lives (what would I have done without those 10 extra years I got with my mom?!?!?!) and it will help our cause.

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my understanding Nick is that the Panel is outnumbered on this all the way up to the president, who has cancer in family history. But I get it, 1 group should not be able to make this happen!

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I agree. I have a significant history of breast cancer in my family. My mom was dx with breast cancer 7 years before her LC dx. The studies on which the recommendation was based were done in Rissia and China where there are very different standards for the detection and treatment of breast cancer. There is a reason that the US has the highest cancer survival rates in the world. Early detection of cancers is one of them. Like, you I think we need to be vocal advocates for early detection of all cancers.


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Talk of the Nation (NPR) had a segment on this yesterday. As I recall, a lot of the data was from the UK and Sweden, since it's the most recent, but also from centers in the U.S. A quote from Secretary Sibelius:

There is no question that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations have caused a great deal of confusion and worry among women and their families across this country. I want to address that confusion head on. The U.S. Preventive Task Force is an outside, independent panel of doctors and scientists who make recommendations. They do not set federal policy and they don't determine what services are covered by the federal government.

There has been debate in this country for years about the age at which routine screening mammograms should begin and how often they should be given. The task force has presented some new evidence for consideration, but our policies remain unchanged. Indeed, I would be very surprised if any private insurance company changed its mammography coverage decisions as a result of this action.

Here's a link to the program:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... =120537928


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