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LCA-NY Releases First Ever State Report Card on Lung Cancer

Washington, D.C. [November 23, 2009]—Today, Lung Cancer Alliance-New York (LCA-NY) issued its 1st Report Card on Lung Cancer (.pdf) .  This Report is an assessment of progress being made against lung cancer in the state of New York.  LCA-NY is a chapter of Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA), the only national organization dedicated exclusively to patient support and advocacy for people living with or at risk for lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths both nationally and in New York.  This year alone, 13,550 New Yorkers will be diagnosed and 8,780 will die from the disease—more than breast, prostate, and colon cancers--combined.

“Despite these alarming statistics, the New York legislature and Department of Health have not put together a comprehensive, coordinated plan to address lung cancer,” said Phyllis Goldstein, LCA-NY Chair.  “State funding for lung cancer prevention, early detection, better treatments and research must increase if we are going to see a reduction in mortality rates in New York.”

“LCA-NY has laid out their commitments to reversing the decades of stigma and neglect associated with lung cancer,” said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, LCA President and CEO.  “They have an team in place willing to work with other organizations who share their common goals laid out in their 2009 Report Card on Lung Cancer.”

The LCA-NY 2009 Report Card on Lung Cancer uses six categories to annually grade progress in key benchmarks areas, in order to alert New York public health and public policy leaders and state residents to what needs to be done to address lung cancer appropriately.

Over the past four decades, significant funding for research and early detection has greatly increased five year survival rates for breast cancer (88 percent), prostate cancer (99 percent) and colon cancer (65 percent).

Underfunded and ignored, lung cancer five year survival rate is still only 15 percent.

The LCA-NY 2009 Report Card on Lung Cancer grades the following six categories:

  •     Number of Deaths – GRADE: F Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer death among New York men and women.
  •     Five-Year Survival Rate – GRADE: F Lung cancer is the only major cancer with virtually no improvement in survival for nearly 40 years, and a five year survival rate that has hovered at 15 percent.
  •     Number of Late-Stage Diagnoses--GRADE: F Lung cancer is under-funded and under-researched relative to its public health impact in New York.
  •     Number of Newly-Addicted Youth Smokers – GRADE: F Over 20,000 new “daily” smokers under age 18 become addicted each year in New York.
  •     State-Supported Research – GRADE: D Though there has been no legislation introduced in the state assembly or no lung cancer program in the Governor’s budget, support for federal legislation, the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act of 2009 is growing from New York federal legislators.
  •     State Cancer Plan Commitment – GRADE: D The 2003-2010 State Cancer Plan includes important support for tobacco cessation programs, but fails to include strategies to support for early detection and treatment options.

 “It is time to make a change,” continued Goldstein.  “LCA-NY will make sure that New York’s outstanding hospitals and research centers play a major role in the effort to improve outcomes for the lung cancer.”

Click here to view the 2009 LCA-NY State Report Card on Lung Cancer (.pdf)