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Lung Cancer Alliance Applaudes Maine Congressional Delegation For Being First State In The Union To Unanimously Back Lung Cancer Research Funding Legislation

Washington, DC (Thursday, July 22, 2010) - Today, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) hailed the Maine Congressional Delegation for being the first State in the Union to  unanimously back the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act (LCMRA), bi-partisan, bi-cameral legislation establishing the first ever multi-agency, comprehensive research program targeting all aspects of lung cancer. 

Senator Susan Collins recently joined her fellow delegation members in support of Senate bill S. 332.  The House companion measure is HR 2112.   

“Maine’s State Moto, “Dirigo (I Lead)” is certainly in action today”, said Laurie Fenton-Ambrose, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) President & CEO.  “It is a pleasure to work with Congressional Representatives who grasp quickly the need at hand and who act swiftly to alert not just the citizen’s of Maine but the nation at large that it is time for a more compassionate and comprehensive plan of action for the entire lung cancer. This is leadership”.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women, men and in every ethnic group in Maine, in every state and nationwide.  Military men and women are at increased risk as compared to their civilian counterparts.  Additionally, the majority of those diagnosed with lung cancer are former smokers and non-smokers. Lung cancer’s five-year survival rates still hovers at 15 percent and it remains the least funded in terms of federal research dollars when compared to other major cancer’s and diseases.  

“Maine’s Congressional Delegation has made me very proud today,” said Deb Violette, LCA-Maine Lead Advocate and survivor, “as it should every citizen across the state.  Each Representative welcomed me -- listened to the facts -- and understood that the time to act was now to reverse decades of stigma and neglect too long attached to lung cancer.  I hope this unified show of support will encourage other elected leaders and their respective delegations to come together in a unified front to endorse this legislation which will improve outcomes for the entire lung cancer community.”

The Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act, (S. 332 and HR. 2112) requires the Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Defense and Veterans Affairs to combine forces on a comprehensive, coordinated plan of action with funding authorized for five years to accomplish the mortality reduction goal.