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LUNGevity Foundation Cites Disproportionate Impact Of Lung Cancer On Veterans

Organization Recommits to Funding Critical Research

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, on Veterans Day, LUNGevity Foundation, with the largest research awards program of any lung cancer-focused organization in the U.S., notes the promising advances in the pursuit of better outcomes and better management for lung cancer patients, including the nation's veteran community.

Andrea Stern Ferris, President and Chairman of LUNGevity Foundation, noted, "This reminder of the hope and promise of today's lung cancer research is particularly relevant today, Veterans Day, because our nation's 26 million U.S. veterans are disproportionately affected by lung cancer, the number one cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. The fact that Veterans Day takes place in the midst of Lung Cancer Awareness Month has added significance."

Originally known as Armistice Day, the holiday was first proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in November 1919 at the conclusion of the first World War, when he urged parades and public commemorations. Congress, in 1938, made November 11 th a legal annual holiday. The observations have grown and changed over the decades reflecting the issues of the day.

"Our nation owes so much to our veterans, past and present, and organizations from coast to coast are helping our veterans and their families in a variety of ways. Today LUNGevity Foundation recommits our organization to the funding of critical research which has the potential to improve and save lives of lung cancer patients, especially those within our military community," said Ferris.

Dr. Pierre Massion is Ingram Professor of Cancer Research at Vanderbilt Medical Center, Chair of LUNGevity Foundation's Scientific Advisory Board, and a physician at the Nashville Veterans Affairs Medical Center with significant experience in lung cancer research. Dr. Massion noted, "The progress we are making in dealing with lung cancer in our veteran community is encouraging. We now have a method for lung cancer screening that works and is cost effective - the low-dose chest CT scan. It could be preventing 12,000 Americans from dying of lung cancer every year."

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of non-federal experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, is developing screening recommendations for particularly vulnerable populations that include members of the veteran community. According to Dr. Massion, the Department of Veterans Affairs is developing strategies to implement screening programs, and the progress and increased access for early detection and early treatment are changing the prognosis for lung cancer patients.

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