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The Urgent Need for Increased Lung Cancer Research Funding

Why the American Lung Association and LUNG FORCE Heroes from every state are taking to Capitol Hill to ask for sustained and robust research funding on LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day

Why the American Lung Association and LUNG FORCE Heroes from every state are taking to Capitol Hill to ask for sustained and robust research funding on LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day

Five people standing in front of capitol buildingIt's not just that lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both women and men, killing almost twice as many women as any other cancer. The startling truth is that on average, close to half of all women diagnosed with lung cancer will not survive one year. New treatment options are desperately and urgently needed to save lives, and the American Lung Association has made supporting lung cancer research a top priority.

The good news is that we have made real progress in the last year alone, driving toward better treatments and longer/increased survival for those with this disease.

President Obama launched the "Moonshot" initiative to eliminate cancer during the State of the Union address, placing Vice President Joe Biden in charge. The Lung Association is a proud supporter of this effort.

Lung cancer research funding is growing. Congress increased research funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by 5 percent, including critical funds for lung cancer research. And for fiscal year 2017, the President's budget request for NIH supports important research including two particular lung cancer clinical trials through the Precision Medicine Initiative.

These and earlier investments in research are paying dividends. In 2015, seven new drugs were approved by the FDA to treat certain types of lung cancer. While this is exciting news, we need more treatments to support the quarter million Americans who will be diagnosed this year alone with these and others types of lung cancer. We need additional research funding to develop new drugs and treatments, early detection methods and ultimately a cure. So, while we've made progress, we are just getting started. If we want to defeat lung cancer, now is the time to build on this momentum.

Nearly two years ago, the American Lung Association launched LUNG FORCE, an initiative to rally everyone across the country to raise their voices and make lung cancer a public health priority. We are making lung cancer a cause people care about, driving policy change and increasing research funding.

Harold and Jane smiling at an event together
Attending Advocacy Day from Texas will be LUNG FORCE
Hero Jane Elterman, pictured above with Harold Wimmer
in September 2015.

The Lung Association and LUNG FORCE Heroes—Americans personally impacted by lung cancer—are taking our shared cause to Capitol Hill on March 16 for the first ever LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day. LUNG FORCE Heroes from all 50 states will be urging senators and representatives in Washington, D.C. to not let up. We will press Congress to move forward with robust and sustained federal funding increases for the National Institutes of Health, so there can be better treatments and early detection for people with lung cancer. The Lung Association's goal is to increase federal lung cancer research funding to at least
$450 million by 2020.

You can help—visit to advocate for lung cancer research with your members of Congress. Sign up for our Thunderclap on social media. And if lung cancer has touched your life, share your story to help us raise awareness. Together, we can defeat lung cancer.

Related Topics: Health & Wellness, LUNG FORCE, Research,

  • Harold Wimmer
    National President and CEO
    Harold P. Wimmer is National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, the nation's oldest voluntary health association, working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.
    Follow the Lung Association:

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