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President Obama Signs High Mortality Cancer Bill Into Law!

(From our President and CEO, Laurie Fenton-Ambrose!)

We did it! Wow, what a way to kick off 2013! This is an incredible day for the entire lung cancer community!

Last night, President Obama signed into law the first ever legislation requiring comprehensive plans of research action for high mortality cancers, with lung and pancreatic cancers given priority status for expedited attention!!

This landmark legislation, included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, requires the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop scientific frameworks for addressing cancers with survival rates of less than 50%, with first priority attention to lung and pancreatic cancers. The framework must be sent to Congress within 18 months.

We have accomplished our core legislative priority – work that began 6 ½ years ago – and did so in the end with a wonderful collaboration with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

We wish to thank you-- our wonderful, passionate advocates. You reached out to your members of Congress via phone, email and personal visits. This helped in more ways than you can imagine. Together, we brought lung cancer out of the shadows! 

IT’S OFFICIAL! LUNG CANCER ALLIANCE HAILS LANDMARK VICTORY!  

PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNS HIGH MORTALITY CANCER BILL INTO LAW

Lung Cancer and Pancreatic Cancers Now Research Priorities

 

Washington, DC [January 3, 2013]--Just hours before the end of the 112th Congress, constitutional deadline for approval of a bill passed by that Congress, President Barak Obama today signed into law the first legislation requiring comprehensive plans of research action for high mortality cancers, with lung and pancreatic cancers given priority status for expedited attention.

 

This landmark legislation, included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, requires the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop scientific frameworks for addressing cancers with survival rates of less than 50%, with first priority attention to lung and pancreatic cancers. The framework must be sent to Congress within 18 months

 

“Thank you Mr. President and thank you Congress for giving all of us in the lung cancer community and all those at risk for lung cancer the best possible present for the start of a new year,” said LCA President and CEO Laurie Fenton-Ambrose, whose national organization launched the legislative effort on lung cancer six years ago.

 

“This is a new era for lung cancer,” she said. “We are now out of the shadows.”

 

“Our mission is to cut lung cancer mortality in half by the end of the decade,” Fenton-Ambrose continued, and we have added another tool in our arsenal to help make this goal a reality. This legislation, coupled with the validation of CT screening as a bigger potential life saver than any other cancer screening method, and with the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense starting to screen high risk veterans and military, this goal is absolutely possible.”

 

Fenton-Ambrose thanked the entire lung cancer advocacy community for their untiring efforts and unwavering support over the past 6 years to see the legislation passed.  She also thanked the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCan) for joining forces to see the bill through to law.  Lung cancer’s five year survival rate is 15%, and pancreatic cancer’s is 5% - both little changed since the so-called War on Cancer legislation was passed forty years ago.

 

Lung Cancer Alliance’s legislative saga started in 2006 during the 109th Congress with the passage of a Senate resolution calling lung cancer an urgent public health priority. The original sponsors were then Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chuck Hagel and Mike DeWine.

 

In the 110th Congress, bipartisan resolutions were passed unanimously by both Houses and in the 111th Congress bipartisan, bicameral legislation was introduced to authorize a comprehensive plan of action. The primary sponsors included Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), then Senator and now Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Senator John Kerry (D-MA), and House of Representatives members Donna Christensen (D-VI), Lois Capps (D-CA), Ed Whitfield  (R-KY) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ).

 

“We are deeply grateful to all these current and former members of the House and Senate for their leadership and unfailing support,” said Fenton-Ambrose.

 

Fenton-Ambrose also thanked Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), primary sponsors of the pancreatic cancer bill, and PanCan CEO Julie Fleshman and Director of Government Affairs Megan Gordon Don for the team effort that finally made the bill a law. 

 

The final product, the Recalcitrant Cancer Act, represents a compromise worked out between the Congress and the administration on the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act and Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act. 

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Tags: policy

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Comment by Carolyn on January 15, 2013 at 10:03pm

Thank you so much for writing Maribeth and clarifing some things for me. I really do appreciate it.  I think I am in good hands.  Sometimes I think I just think a little to much and then sometimes I think I think to much.  lol...  It is very kind of you to write to me.  My oncologist that I have had for the last 2 years moved.  When he told me last time I saw him I sat there and had some tears.  Wow I really trusted him  I told him that and he told me to trust in God.  I know he is right.  It sure is hard to lose him though.  I am sure everything will be okay.  I pray you will be okay also.  You take care of you and God Bless.

 

Comment by Maribeth Wall on January 15, 2013 at 9:11pm

Carolyn -  I am stage IV and the first year my first oncologist did PET scans every 3 months.  My current oncologist, who I have been seeing for 5 years, has only done a PET scan once.  His reasoning is that CT scans are more reliable, at least in my case, than PET scans.  I have had in the past false positive readings with my PET scans.  Hence, why my current oncologist prefers CT scans over PET scans.  I also have read that PET scans are used in the initial stages of diagnosis and if new symptoms of pain or odd feelings occur in other areas of the body.  For me I started having stomach issues and my doctor did a PET scan to see what the uptake was in that area and if the cancer cells were present in the area.  Anyway, that is my personal experience but as Amy has said, for everyone it is different and also every doctor has a different approach.  

May your scan go great in March and have continued success in this fight.

Prayers.

Maribeth

Comment by AmyLCA on January 15, 2013 at 1:26pm

Hi Carolyn,

PET scans are not generally a standard part of follow up after lung cancer surgery. But that doesn't mean that it's wrong to get one, for those whose doctors wanted one. Standard follow up is a CT scan every 4-6 months for two years after treatment. March would be just a little more than 6 months past the last one but you are also two years past your surgery so your doctor may talk to you about going to less frequent scans. I'm not a medical professional but based on what I know about recommendations, it doesn't sound like a PET scan is generally part of standard follow up, at least not for someone with early stage lung cancer. 

I know that GADawg's mom had PET scans. That may have had to do with her staging and where the cancer is. I think your cancer was stage 1A when you had surgery, right? I think GADawg's mom's cancer was more advanced when it was diagnosed. 

Hope that helps. 

Amy

Comment by Carolyn on January 15, 2013 at 1:13pm

Not Obama fan either.  Nope  I am glad this is happening also.  Amy I have a question for you please..  I had surgery Dec. 9 2010.  I have been cancer free since.  Thank God.  However I was reading some of the replys here and questions.  I checked with Dr. and last CT scan was Aug. 14, 2012 and last Pet Scan was Feb. 2012.  I am scheduled to have a CT scan in March of this year.  I called Dr. awhile ago to see if it would be better to do Pet Scan since it has been almost a year.  May I ask you feelings on this one.  I do appreciate you Amy and your knowledge.  Thank you so much ahead of time.  God bless

Carolyn

Comment by DavidatpMOD on January 6, 2013 at 10:54pm

I'm not an Obama fan but I sure am with him on this one.  It's been a long time in coming.  Good luck, God bless and keep the faith...

David

 

Comment by Maribeth Wall on January 6, 2013 at 6:01pm

Yahoo!  What a great way to start the year!

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