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Lung Cancer Alliance Reiterates its Strong Supportfor Scientifically Validated CT Screening for Lung Cancer – Concerned That Recent Study Will Slow at Risk Consumer Access to Life Saving Care

LCA National Framework for Lung Screening Excellence and Continuum of Care Welcomes 17 More Centers to Roster of over 100 Medical Facilities Offering Best Practices

Washington, D.C. [May 21, 2012] – Today, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA), reiterated its strong support for low dose CT screening of high risk populations.  Such screening can detect lung cancer at its earliest most treatable stage. Lung Cancer Alliance urged medical professionals, researchers, public health, public policy, and industry leaders to join its current efforts to translate the science into life saving benefit, responsibly, safely and cost-effectively. 

LCA expressed this support in light of a recently released study that it believes is unduly pessimistic and could cause confusion among the at risk public and delay efforts to bring this life saving benefit to those at risk for lung cancer.  

 “Scientific debates are not new, especially when it comes to interpreting statistics about the benefits of screening,” said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, President and CEO of Lung Cancer Alliance. “This study seems to underplay benefit and overplay harm.”

“Consider mammograms for breast cancer,” she continued, “which faced enormous opposition for decades and continues to see heated debate surrounding screening for women under the age of 50. Despite the debate, mammography is being provided and has been a primary contributor to the improved survival rates for breast cancer—which stand at 89%.” 

Fenton Ambrose continued, “It is time to move beyond scientific debate to implementation for lung cancer screening. Other respected medical societies have analyzed the data and taken a more positive supportive approach. In addition, medical centers across this country have also moved thoughtfully to institute quality screening programs. They understand that this is the right thing to do and can be done effectively, while minimizing risk and maximizing benefit.”

In 2010, the National Cancer Institute halted its National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), one of the largest and most expensive randomized controlled screening trials ever conducted, when it showed a significant mortality benefit in a high risk population.  In 2011, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) released its comprehensive lung screening clinical guidelines. In 2012, Lung Cancer Alliance launched the first of a kind National Framework for Lung Screening Excellence and its Continuum of Care, guidance for both at risk consumers and medical centers offering responsible care. 

Today, over 100 sites have now committed to providing clear information based on the principles of the National Framework and on current evidence of who is a candidate for lung cancer screening. These sites are complying with the comprehensive standards based on both the NCCN and International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP) guidelines for controlling screening quality, radiation dose and diagnostic procedures within an experienced, multi-disciplinary clinical setting. 

New sites being added to today to LCA’s website include:

Baptist Hospital East, Louisville KY

Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond VA

Mary Washington Healthcare, Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg VA

Trident Medical Center, Charleston SC

Summit Medical Center, Hermitage, TN

Cleveland Clinic-Chest Cancer Center, Cleveland OH

Middlesex Cancer Center, Middletown CT

Swedish Cancer Institute, Seattle WA

Cancer Center of Putnam, Palatka FL

Orange Park Cancer Center, Orange Park, FL

Norton Cancer Institute, Louisville KY

Centennial Medical Center, Nashville TN

Skyline Medical Center, Nashville, TN

Southside Cancer Center, Jacksonville FL

Mercy Medical Center, Rockville Centre, NY

Southern Hills Medical Center, Nashville TN

Stone Crest Medical Center, Smyrna TN

Fenton Ambrose concluded, “As a national advocacy organization committed to the well being of tens of thousands of people at high risk for this lethal disease, we are committed working with those interested in advancing benefits for the lung cancer community in a positive, supportive and responsible way.”