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Department of Energy and Department of Defense Lung Cancer Programs

Department of Energy and Lung Cancer

Munitions plant workers exposed to uranium, beryllium and other carcinogens have been routinely screened for lung cancer under the Worker Health Protection Program funded through the Office of Environment, Safety and Health of the Department of Energy. The program is being expanded to more plants in FY10.

Department of Defense and Lung Cancer

Since its initiation in FY92, the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) under the Department of Defense has funded over $5 billion in research programs with more than half of the funding earmarked for breast, prostate and ovarian cancer research programs. Establishing a lung cancer research program has been a top priority for Lung Cancer Alliance. Thanks to the tireless efforts of LCA Board Chairman, the late Rear Admiral Philip Coady and other LCA Board members who met with key legislators, in October 2008 Congress created the new Lung Cancer Research Program within the CDMRP. The legislative report language stated:

The Committee is concerned that the overall 5-year survival rate for lung cancer is still only 15% and that only 16% of diagnoses are being made at an early stage when lung cancer is most curable. Lung cancer is the most lethal of all cancers taking more lives each year than all the other major cancers combined. Given the heightened exposure of active duty military personnel to lung cancer carcinogens, and recognizing the superior quality of the cancer research programs that been established under the CDMRP, the Committee recommends $25,000,000 to establish a Lung Cancer Research Program. The Committee urges that as a first priority the Program shall develop the integrated components to identify, treat and manage early curable lung cancer.

The final amount appropriated for FY09, the first year of the new program, was $20 million and LCA is strongly advocating for continued funding for FY10. LCA is deeply grateful to House Defense Appropriations Committee Chairman John Murtha (D-PA) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) for their support and commitment to change the impact of lung cancer on our military men and women.

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