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April 9, 2008
An Open Letter to Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton
Yesterday you announced what you would do for breast cancer should you be elected president. When will you announce what you would do for lung cancer?
The $300 million plan you unveiled yesterday to find a cure for breast cancer should be at least doubled for lung cancer since it is killing nearly twice as many women each year as breast cancer. Most women do not even know this.
You do, Senator Clinton, and you specifically cited that fact as part of the justification for Senate Resolution 87 (S.Res.87), which you co-sponsored and supported and which was passed August 2, 2007. The resolution was a strongly worded policy statement by the Senate calling on the President to declare lung cancer a public health priority and to implement a comprehensive interagency program to reduce lung cancer mortality by 50% by 2015.
The Resolution contains a page and a half of the grim statistics justifying the demand for priority action and specifically notes the enormous under funding of lung cancer research which receives only seven cents for every federal dollar spent on breast cancer.
Of course we would like to see a cure for breast cancer as we would for all cancers. Thanks to the billions in federal dollars alone that have been invested in breast caner research and early detection, the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is now 88%.
Having been massively under-funded, as the resolution notes, lung cancer’s 5-year survival rate is still only 15%. That will no longer be tolerated.
We are not asking for a cure at this point. Just a 50% reduction in the mortality rate for lung cancer, the most lethal cancer which is now killing more men and women each year than breast, prostate, colon, kidney, melanoma and liver cancers combined.
One in five women being diagnosed with lung cancer now have never smoked at all and they seem to be getting diagnosed younger. Why aren’t women demanding more research? Because they do not know the facts.
You spell out the facts so eloquently in S. Res. 87 and you lay out in the resolution a comprehensive program for lung cancer that is actually quite similar to the one you proposed yesterday for breast cancer.
When will you announce your comprehensive plan for lung cancer? We thank you and look forward to hearing from you on behalf of all those with and at risk for lung cancer, their families, caregivers and friends.
Lung Cancer Alliance