Lung Cancer Alliance Hails Veterans Service Organizations' Call For Early Lung Cancer Detection Program
Lung Cancer Alliance
(LCA) today hailed veterans service organizations for calling on Congress
to fund a lung cancer early detection pilot program specifically for
veterans at high risk for lung cancer.
LCA President Laurie Fenton called the request "ground-breaking."
"This is a critical turning point that will benefit all of our veterans
who are at higher risk for lung cancer due to higher government-subsidized
smoking rates and increased exposure during active duty to asbestos on
submarines, Agent Orange, depleted nuclear fuels, and other carcinogens."
Fenton praises AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the Paralyzed
Veterans of America (PVA), and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for their
public recognition of the devastating impact of lung cancer on veterans by
requesting Congress to fund a $3 million pilot screening program based on
the highly successful research carried out by the International Early Lung
Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP).
Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer, taking more lives each year
than breast, prostate, colon, kidney and liver cancers combined. Most
people will die within the first year of diagnosis because only 16 percent
of lung cancer cases are being caught at an early stage when treatment is
Vietnam veterans are at especially high risk because of their exposure
to carcinogens and because the percentage of these veterans who are current
or former smokers is twice the national civilian rate.
Meanwhile, over the past 13 years, the I-ELCAP early detection research
program -- which was initiated in 1993 at Cornell Medical School in New
York and carried out in 40 sites around the world -- has led to the
development of protocol that has detected lung cancer at an early stage 85
percent of the time and led to 10-year survival of 92 percent in those
treated immediately upon diagnosis. Without early detection, 5-year
survival rates drop below 15 percent.
"We owe our veterans, especially Vietnam veterans who have been the
most severely impacted by lung cancer, the very best care available,"
Every year since 1986, AMVETS, DAV, PVA and VFW have presented policy
recommendations to Congress in their Independent Budget (IB). For the first
time, the IB specifically includes a recommendation on lung cancer,
-- VA should request and Congress should appropriate at least $3
million to conduct a pilot screening program for veterans at high risk of
developing lung cancer;
-- VA should partner with the International Early Lung Cancer Action
Program to provide early screening of veterans at risk.
"We congratulate these organizations for their call to action and look
forward to working with them to bring this early detection program to our
veterans," concluded Fenton.
The Lung Cancer Alliance (