Lung Cancer Alliance-Massachusetts Issues Inaugural State-Specific Report Card on Lung Cancer

Massachusetts Receives Failing Grades on Key Benchmarks

WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Lung Cancer Alliance-Massachusetts (LCA-MA) issued its first-ever state-specific Report Card on Lung Cancer. The Report Card gauges the progress being made against this lethal disease by the state of Massachusetts. LCA-MA is a chapter of Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA).

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths nationally, as well as among Massachusetts men and women, resulting in 30 percent of all cancer deaths in the state. This year alone lung cancer will take the lives of 3,630 Massachusetts citizens --- more than breast, prostate, and colon cancers -- combined.

"For the first time, we have benchmarks in place that will measure the progress of the Massachusetts public health establishment in reducing lung cancer's high mortality rates," said Diane Legg, Co-Chair of LCA-MA. "LCA-MA will ensure that lung cancer receives research funding commensurate to its public health impact in our state."

Said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, President and CEO of LCA, "This is an historic step forward for the Massachusetts lung cancer community and could not have happened without the dedication and determination of these remarkable advocates to reduce lung cancer mortality in Massachusetts."

The LCA-MA Report Card on Lung Cancer highlights six categories and annually evaluates and then grades the progress being made to eradicate this disease. This Report is a tool to educate the public as well as state leaders to the needs of the lung cancer community in Massachusetts.

The LCA-MA Report Card on Lung Cancer grades the following six categories:

-- Number of Deaths - GRADE: F Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer death among Massachusetts men and women.

-- Five-Year Survival Rate - GRADE: F For nearly 40 years, there has been virtually no improvement in lung cancer's 15 percent five year survival rate.

-- Number of Late Stage Diagnosis - GRADE: F Over 70 percent of lung cancer patients are diagnosed in the late stages of the disease when it is not curable. We must shift to earlier detection, diagnosis and treatment if we hope to improve overall survival.

-- Newly-Addicted Youth Smokers - GRADE: F 7,400 new Commonwealth "daily" smokers under age 18 become addicted each year.

-- State-Supported Research - GRADE: F Massachusetts has failed to adequately fund research in prevention, early disease management and treatment for lung cancer.

-- State Cancer Plan Commitment - GRADE: D While the plan recommends smoking cessation programs, it fails to recommend research for lung cancer early detection and treatment.

"Now is the time to take action," said Joanne O'Connor, LCA-MA Co-chair. "Lung cancer has been ignored for far too long. LCA-MA will work with hospitals, public health organizations, and legislators throughout the state to ensure Massachusetts becomes a leader in the fight against the number one cancer killer."

For more information on the services provided by Lung Cancer Alliance or to view the complete LCA-MA Report Card on Lung Cancer, visit http://www.lungcanceralliance.org.

Lung Cancer Alliance is the only national non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to patient support and advocacy for those living with or at risk for the disease. Lung Cancer Alliance is committed to reversing decades of stigma and neglect by empowering those with or at risk for lung cancer, elevating awareness, and changing health policy.

SOURCE Lung Cancer Alliance

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