Recent news of high-profile lung cancer cases and deaths highlights need for more funding and better research
SAN CARLOS, Calif., March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued by Bonnie J. Addario in light of Bobbie Smith, lead singer of The Spinners, losing his battle with lung cancer last week:
"Lung cancer has been in the news a lot lately, with high-profile celebrities like Valerie Harper, revealing her lung cancer has now metastasized to her brain, the acclaimed opera singer Zheng Cao losing her fight with lung cancer last month, and now Bobbie Smith, the cherished voice of The Spinners, has also succumbed to the disease. It saddens me deeply that I have to read about these talented people. And what it shows is that anyone can get lung cancer. The numbers don't lie: Lung cancer kills more people every year than the next five biggest cancers combined. There are 1.4 million people worldwide with lung cancer. More women die every year from lung cancer than breast cancer. But 80 percent of newly diagnosed patients quit smoking years ago or never smoked at all. And the five-year survival rate has remained unchanged since 1971 – just 15 percent survive more than five years after being diagnosed."And still there is a stigma that it's a smoker's disease. This is proven by the disproportionate lack of funding given to lung cancer research. Moreover, doctors are often misinformed when it comes to treatment options and the value of early detection screenings and targeted therapies. "It is time we stop singling out just lung cancer as a smoking disease. Smoking is also a cause of many other cancers, vascular disease and heart disease. It is time we get on with changing the survival rate of the biggest cancer in the world. The lack of funding for this disease is appalling and must increase to the level of breast, colon and prostate cancer. The high survival rates of these diseases are commensurate with the funding and amazing advocacy efforts.