"Honoring Veterans--Saving Lives": Second Annual Joint Initiative to Screen Veterans At Risk For Lung Cancer
Lung Cancer Alliance, Vietnam Veterans of America, Dept. of Defense, Walter Reed & select screening centers partner on education and screening effort --
because veterans face a higher risk for lung cancer
Washington, DC [October 29, 2013] — Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) and Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) today announced the second annual joint initiative to educate America’s veterans on their individual risk of developing lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths, and the life-saving benefits of early detection using low-dose CT scans.
The initiative, which has been expanded to 14 medical centers across the nation this year, up from eight centers last year, will be held on various dates on or around Veterans Day and will offer veterans free risk assessment and help arranging for screenings when necessary.
Walter Reed National Medical Military Center in Bethesda, Maryland, the nation’s flagship facility for military healthcare, and the two organizing groups will join with these select medical centers to offer screening opportunities and conduct outreach and education to local veterans groups. These 14 centers, in eleven states are part of LCA’s broader National Framework for Excellence in Lung Cancer Screening and Continuum of Care.
The initiative kicks off on Wednesday, November 6, at Walter Reed and is being implemented at these centers throughout the month of November. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Veterans Day is November 11.
“We congratulate Walter Reed for once again showing life-saving leadership and inviting all veterans for a risk assessment and, if necessary, a free screening,” said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, President & CEO of Lung Cancer Alliance. “Additionally, we congratulate the new medical centers who have joined with us to hold this important event a second year in a row.”
Veterans are at increased risk for lung cancer because of higher smoking rates and exposures during their military service to known cancer-causing agents, such as Agent Orange, asbestos and battlefield combustibles.
“Risk assessment and early detection of lung cancer are so important and especially crucial for veterans. It has the potential to save thousands of lives,” said John Rowan, National President of VVA.
The following medical centers will be participating in the initiative:
- The Center for Chest Care, Fayetteville, AR
- Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center, Middletown, CT
- WellStar Health System, Marietta, GA
- Coliseum Cancer Institute, Macon, GA
- Franciscan St. Francis Health, Indianapolis, IN
- Norton Healthcare, Louisville, KY
- Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
- Methodist Hospital/Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center, Omaha, NE
- Maimonides Cancer Center, Brooklyn, NY
- Stony Brook Medicine Lung Cancer Evaluation Center, Stony Brook, NY
- John T. Mather Memorial Hospital, Port Jefferson, NY
- Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Burlington, MA
- Mercy Health Saint Mary's Lacks Cancer Center, Grand Rapids, MI
- Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
“As a lung cancer screening center, we believe it’s crucial that we provide safe screenings to at-risk populations such as veterans,” said Joanna Thompson, Clinic Coordinator from The Center for Chest Care in Fayetteville, AR. “We’re honored to take part in the initiative from LCA and VVA and to provide our brave men and women with responsible risk assessments and post-screening support.”
Screening those at high risk with low-dose CT scans can identify lung cancer at an early and most curable stage even before symptoms occur.
About Lung Cancer Alliance
Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) is committed to saving lives by helping people, building our community and advancing screening and research. LCA provides live, professional support, referral and information services to 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. For more information please visit www.lungcanceralliance.org.
About Vietnam Veterans of America
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) 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, and to change public perception of Vietnam veterans, at the same time that they live up to the founding principle, “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.” VVA is concerned about the high risk of lung cancer in every generation of veterans, from veterans who served in WWII and Korea to those serving in Afghanistan today.
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.