Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) today introduced legislation to improve the battle against lung cancer through better coordination of federal research initiatives.
Despite lung cancer’s strong association with tobacco use, approximately 20 percent of lung cancer patients have never smoked. Moreover, mounting research suggests that mortality rates of lung cancer differ between women and men, and that genetic, hormonal, behavioral and environmental factors also play a role in treating the disease.
“In the United States, lung cancer causes more deaths than colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer combined,” said Senator Feinstein. “This terrible disease accounts for 28 percent of all cancer deaths, yet the majority of patients are not correctly diagnosed until a late stage of the illness. With the federal budget under strain, our legislation ensures a coordinated federal effort to tackle lung cancer and achieve early detection and treatment. All agencies with an expertise on lungs, imaging, and cancer will be included in this fight.”
The Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act, co-sponsored by Senators Feinstein and Isakson, is bipartisan legislation that calls upon the Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense, the Veterans Administration and other relevant agencies to devise a comprehensive plan to address all aspects of lung cancer.
“Lung cancer is one of the deadliest cancers and affects individuals and families across the country from all walks of life,” said Senator Johnny Isakson. “I am pleased to work with my colleagues in Congress to reduce the prevalence and mortality of this terrible disease.”
The Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act:
Sets a goal to reduce lung cancer mortality by 50% by 2020
- Establishes a Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Program, with comprehensive interagency coordination, to develop and implement a plan to meet this goal
- Improves programs focused on health disparities to ensure the burdens of lung cancer on minority populations are addressed
- Creates a lung cancer screening demonstration project
- Establishes a Lung Cancer Advisory Board, which will provide an annual report to Congress on the progress of the Mortality Reduction Program