Bonnie J. Addario, Founder of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, Issued the Following Statement in Response to the Nov. 29 Dr. Oz Segment on 'Symptoms People Worry About Most'Read Now
Bonnie J. Addario, founder of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, issued the following statement in response to the Nov. 29 Dr. Oz segment on symptoms people worry about most:
"I'm sure you are aware by now that your segment on Friday, Nov. 29 -- 'The Alarmist Guide To The Symptoms You Worry About Most' -- caused quite a stir in the lung cancer community. A woman on your show complained about a nagging, persistent cough and read online that it may be a symptom of lung cancer. It IS a symptom of lung cancer. While you did advise her to see a physician if her cough continued for more than two weeks, you mislead your audience when you said, 'If you don't smoke you should always feel better about that.' You then proceeded to calm her fears and said she had post-nasal drip, not lung cancer.
"It is true that smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer, but more and more people every year are being diagnosed who have never smoked a day in their lives. Lung cancer in never-smokers, if it were a cancer by itself, is now the sixth deadliest cancer in the U.S. The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 24,000 Americans will die of lung cancer in 2013 who never smoked. That is greater than the number of deaths associated with Leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Liver, Ovarian and Bladder cancers. Because there is so little funding for lung cancer research we still don't know why the number of never-smokers with lung cancer are increasing. Prevention and early diagnosis are extremely challenging as there isn't a reliable early detection test other than a CT scan.
"You did provide the proper advice to your guest at the end of the segment, but the message heard loudly among the lung cancer community is that never-smokers shouldn't worry about lung cancer, which sadly today is not the message well respected physicians like you should send.
"In May of 2012 you aired this short but important PSA on your show that 'Not only smokers get lung cancer.' We hope you'll consider revisiting this statement in more detail on an upcoming episode and partnering with us to increase awareness of lung cancer.
"In 2006 I founded the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, one of the largest and most active philanthropies dedicated to raising awareness and funding for lung cancer research and patient programs, with the ultimate goal of making lung cancer a chronically managed, survivable disease in the next 10 years. Our sister foundation, the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute, is launching a ground-breaking study in January called The Genomics of Young Lung Cancer Study, which aims to understand why never-smokers under the age of 40 are getting lung cancer and if they have a unique cancer subtype that could be treated differently. The research is being conducted by (list the institutions) Two patients who plan to enter the study, Ingrid Nunez and Emily Bennett-Taylor, were recently profiled in an article about the study in The Atlantic.
"This timely study offers you a great opportunity to clear up the confusion about smoking and lung cancer, and have a real discussion about the deadliest cancer in the U.S. and the world.
"Thank you in advance for understanding the concerns I am raising, and we look forward to working with you and your producers in 2014 to save lives."
Bonnie J. Addario
Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
Perry Communications Group
Matt Notley, 916-658-0144
The brightest minds in research, academics and advocacy unite at the Lung Cancer Living Room.
Published on November 5, 2013 by The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
SAN CARLOS, CA, Nov. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is proud to present The Next Decade in Lung Cancer, a three-part series of the Lung Cancer Living Room, the nation's premiere live-streamed support group for patients, family and friends.
"We are asking the big question. What will it take to make lung cancer a chronically managed disease in the next 10 years?" said Bonnie J. Addario, lung cancer survivor and founder of the ALCF. "The Next Decade in Lung Cancer offers a glimpse into the future from the perspective of researchers, advocates and most importantly patients."
The three-part series will unite industry leaders in medicine, research and technology who will discuss the latest advancements and breakthroughs in lung cancer. Advocacy and policy agencies and foundations will also discuss access, information, education and needed legislative changes.
The series, which will take place over the next three months, kicks off on November 10, 2013 at 2 p.m. (PST). Guests who attend the Living Room in-person will have the opportunity to network with other patients and with the guest speakers listed below. Online guests can also participate through the live stream, asking questions and sending comments via a live chat function. The session also airs at a later date locally on Peninsula TV.
The ALCF regularly hosts the Living Room on the third Tuesday of every month and the program is live-streamed online. It is the nation's premier lung cancer support group for lung cancer patients and their families, offering expert opinion and advice not found anywhere else. Visit www.ustream.com and select the Lung Cancer Living Room Support Group channel to see the video archive, including full length videos and 20-minute condensed highlighted versions, available the week after the group meets.
The patient empowerment educational series is made possible through funding partners: Biodesix, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Genentech and The Safeway Foundation.
About The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation works with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $10 million for lung cancer research and patient services.
Read more here.
This letter to the editor was originally published at MLive.com (Michigan Local News) on November 1st, 2013.
by Tori Tomalia
The pink-infused Breast Cancer Awareness month is drawing to a close, and I have to commend the marketing minds behind that phenomenon, because pink is everywhere. However, few people know that November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and sadly the support for lung cancer research is greatly lacking. Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
Like many people, I thought little of lung cancer until just a few months ago.
My journey started with a nagging cough, a series of chest colds that seemed to drag on for ages, and a return of my childhood asthma that did not improve despite several different prescriptions.
Then, one afternoon in late May, I got the devastating news that I had lung cancer. As a healthy, non-smoking mother of a five-year-old and two-year-old twins, I could not fathom how this could be possible. It has spread to my spine, ribs, hip, and liver, making me Stage IV. The prognosis is not good. However, so far the chemo is working to shrink the tumors, buying me more time.
For me, this extra time means that I got to see my son turn five, and attend his first day of kindergarten. I had the gift of watching my girls master the art of riding the tricycle. I went on picnics, movie dates with my husband, and family bowling trips, joys that I once took for granted.
The hope for me lies is sticking around long enough for the next big medical breakthrough in lung cancer. I am hopeful that it is coming. You can help by giving a donation to one of these foundations that fund lung cancer research:
Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
Lung Cancer Alliance, or Text LUNG to 27722 to Make a $10 Donation
The next time you laugh with a friend, sigh at a sunset, or blow out a birthday candle, pause in honor of the lungs that let you do those things. And make sure others get the chance to take their next breath.
Follow Tori's journey through this diagnosis and treatment on her blog.
by Dr. Lecia V. Sequist
Originally published by CNN.com on 10.30.13
Dr. Lecia V. Sequist is a medical oncologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. and a member of the LUNGevity Foundation's Scientific Advisory Board. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Dr. Lecia V. Sequist.
My patient, "Judy," is one of more than 228,000 Americans this year who will be diagnosed with lung cancer.
And like most of her fellow lung cancer patients, she is struggling not only to learn all she can about her diagnosis and treatment options, but also to adjust to the overwhelming burden of shame and stigma that plagues this disease.
When asked who is providing her with support, Judy said she is ashamed to admit her metastatic, incurable cancer diagnosis to loved ones, and that she is bearing the burden alone. Because one of the strongest risk factors for lung cancer is smoking, our society has come to the conclusion that people diagnosed with lung cancer somehow deserve it, that it was brought on by their own "bad" behavior.
Tell a friend or colleague that your aunt just found out she has lung cancer. Almost always the response will be, "Did she smoke?"
Then tell someone else that your aunt just found out she has breast cancer, or colon cancer, or any other type of cancer you can think of. This time the response will be pure sympathy, without any blame attached.
Donna Summer died of lung cancer not related to smoking
The feeling that lung cancer patients should somehow be held liable for their cancer diagnosis is often the only notion people have about lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer, responsible for more than 25% of all cancer deaths. It kills roughly twice as many women as breast cancer, and almost three times as many men as prostate cancer.
What many people don't realize is that about 60% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers, many of whom quit several decades ago.
For the first time, the World Health Organization recently declared air pollution as a leading cause of lung cancer. In short, anyone with lungs -- anyone who breathes -- can get lung cancer.
Researchers are on the verge of a seismic shift in our ability to diagnose and treat lung cancer, and more funding is desperately needed to bring these promising new therapies to fruition.
In the last five years, researchers have learned that some lung cancers are remarkably sensitive to a new type of treatment, one that comes in a pill and is targeted specifically toward the genetic defects that make that particular cancer "tick."
In clinics across the country, oncologists are testing their lung cancer patients to find out which type of gene the cancer carries so they can know which type of targeted therapy will work best. As a result, some patients are living longer, with fewer side effects and improved quality of life compared to traditional therapies.
In addition, in the last two years researchers have started to learn how to harness the immune system to attack lung cancer, and have seen some patients with advanced disease go into prolonged remission, sometimes lasting long after the immune therapy is stopped. These types of successes in lung cancer treatments would have been unimaginable 10 years ago.
Scientists are deeply committed to broadening and improving therapy options until there is an effective treatment for all lung cancer patients.
Unfortunately, the stigma associated with lung cancer has translated to a massive inequality in research funding. When analyzing the combined 2012 cancer research dollars granted by federal organizations, for every woman who dies of breast cancer, more than $26,000 in federal research funding is devoted to breast cancer research. But for every woman who dies of lung cancer, just over 1,000 federal dollars are invested. The difference is staggering.
November is national lung cancer awareness month. Scientists don't have millions of dollars to spend on marketing to call attention to the need for research dollars. If they did, they would spend that money on research.
You can help by spreading the word about the need for lung cancer research to family and friends. By rejecting the tendency to blame lung cancer patients for their disease, you can help lift the crushing weight of stigma and guilt that for some can be as bad as the cancer itself.
With increased research, more lives will be saved. Please join me this November and talk about lung cancer, for Judy, and patients everywhere who are too ashamed to mention it.
Team "Jogging for Joan" walks and runs in honor of Joan Gaeta as well as all those affected by lung cancer.
Please join our team and come out on Saturday morning, November 16th for Breathe Deep Atlanta. Breathe Deep Atlanta is a 5k untimed walk/fun run to raise money for critical lung cancer research. The course is located at Piedmont Park and is stroller-friendly and wheelchair-friendly.
If you cannot make it out on November 16th, please consider a donation to our team .
All the information you need about the event is here. Join our team or donate here.
A Great Way to Honor Lung Cancer Awareness Month!