By Representative Frank LoBiondo (NJ)
As many of us know too well, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the United States. And, like countless Americans and many of you, my family has been directly affected by this devastating disease. My wife Tina lost both her parents to lung cancer.
Tina’s parents are only one of countless stories of lives that could have been changed with more advanced lung cancer detection and treatments. Nearly 160,000 Americans will die this year due to lung cancer; an estimated 3,900 from New Jersey alone. Even as lung cancer remains one of America’s biggest killers, lung cancer research is the least funded of the major cancers. Likewise, survival rates for lung cancer have tragically-lagged compared to those for other cancers.
I, along with Lois Capps and Rick Nolan, recently launched the bipartisan Congressional Lung Cancer Caucus to help educate and inform our colleagues on issues specifically related to eliminating stigmas, improving survivorship, furthering research and ensuring equitable access to preventative screenings, treatments, diagnostics and testing. Along with the Lung Cancer Alliance, we are pushing for greater general awareness and additional federal funding for lung cancer research, ensuring it receives the support and resources it demands.
For each of us, the fight against lung cancer is personal. Together, we believe a coordinated and comprehensive effort must be pursued to reduce the mortality rate of lung cancer. Researchers have achieved great successes in many areas, raising the hopes of countless families in the process. With adequate federal and private support, there is no reason to believe that progress can’t also be made on lung cancer. Together, we can help change the lives of those individuals and their families battling lung cancer for the better.