SPRINGFIELD, Ill., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- New federal legislation aimed at reducing the number of deaths caused by lung cancer by 50 percent within nine years was unveiled during the Lung Cancer Alliance Advocacy Conference on March 28 in Washington, D.C. The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest, which serves the residents of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin, immediately hailed the action as a landmark step in the battle against lung cancer.
"This legislation would make lung cancer a national priority, and for the first time, bring together the many federal agencies that deal with this deadly disease," said Harold Wimmer, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest. "Even though lung cancer has one of the highest mortality rates of any form of cancer, it gets fewer federal dollars for research and treatment options than other forms of cancer. This proposal will help to close that gap, and would help save thousands of lives."
The Senate resolution, S.Res 408, is co-authored by Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. The House version, H Res 739, was introduced by Florida Rep. Clay Shaw, a lung cancer survivor and strong advocate for more funding and research for the devastating disease. More than 70 members of Congress, representing both parties, have already signed a letter of support for the resolutions.
The number of people in the upper Midwest who die each year of lung cancer is alarming. Here is a breakdown of the estimated annual lung cancer deaths, by state:
-- Illinois* 5,294
-- Iowa 1,917
-- Minnesota 2,414
-- North Dakota 357
-- Wisconsin 3,608
-- TOTAL: 13,590
Source: American Lung Association, Estimated Prevalence & Incidence of Lung Disease tables, July 2005
* excludes Cook County data
The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest is dedicated to reducing the number of lung cancer deaths in the states it serves. For more information and resources about lung cancer, please contact the American Lung Association HelpLine at http://www.lunghelpline.org or by calling 1-800-548-8252.
American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest