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Vietnam Veterans of America and Leading Medical Centers Joining Pilot Effort to Raise Awareness and Help Veterans Assess the Risks and Benefits of CT Screening
Washington, DC [Thursday, November 01, 2012]—Today, to kick off Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) announced a new national pilot initiative for at risk Veterans that will offer life-saving information on lung cancer risk and CT screening.
Joining LCA are the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), a national veterans’ advocacy organization and a select group of medical centers across the country committed to the high standards outlined in LCA’s National Framework for Excellence in Lung Cancer Screening and Continuum of Care.
The initiative will lead off November 8th at Walter Reed National Medical Military Center in Bethesda, MD, the recently enlarged and upgraded flagship facility for military healthcare. Participating medical centers will join during November 8th – 13th, the days surrounding Veterans Memorial Day.
The medical centers include:
LCA Board Chairman, Admiral T. Joseph Lopez, USN, (ret) said “There is no better way to honor the men and woman who have served our country than with an initiative that could save their lives. I applaud VVA, Walter Reed and the participating medical centers for supporting this pilot program and for contributing to the establishment of best practices for screening our high risk veterans.”
Veterans, and in particular Vietnam veterans, are at higher risk for lung cancer than civilian populations because of higher smoking rates and exposure to known carcinogens during active duty. While lung cancer may take decades to develop, symptoms do not usually become obvious until the cancer has already grown into late stage when survival is less than 15%.
Screening those at high risk with low dose CT scans before symptoms occur can identify lung cancer at an early and most curable stage. Individual risk for lung cancer will vary and screening may involve some potential harms.
LCA, VVA and participating medical centers believe Veterans have a right to know all the facts and get all the information they need to make an informed decision and be assured responsible care.
Following LCA’s National Framework, these centers will facilitate a discussion on risk and if necessary schedule and perform a low dose CT to screen for the disease.
About the National Framework for Excellence in Screening and Continuum of Care
Developed by Lung Cancer Alliance to help insure that lung cancer screening is done safely, equitably and well at responsible sites with a multi-disciplinary team of doctors overseeing the screening and treatment process. Available at www.screenforlungcancer.org.
About Lung Cancer Alliance
Lung Cancer Alliance, www.lungcanceralliance.org, is committed to ending injustice and saving lives through an alliance of advocacy, education and support. LCA provides live, professional support, referral and information services for patients, their loved ones and those at risk for lung cancer; conducts national awareness campaigns; and advocates for multiple millions in public health dollars for lung cancer research.
About Vietnam Veterans of America
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), www.vva.org, is the only national Vietnam veterans’ organization congressionally chartered and primarily dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families. VVA’s goals are to promote and support the full range of issues important to Vietnam veterans, to create a new identity for this generation of veterans, and to change public perception of Vietnam veterans, at the same time that we live up to our founding principle of “Never again will one generation of American veterans abandon another generation.” Therefore VVA is concerned about high risk of lung cancer in every generation of veterans, from veterans who served in WWII & Korea to those serving in Afghanistan today.