Inlet vigil contributes to awareness, supports passage of new legislation

by Margie O’Hara, Guest Contributor 

Congratulations to those of you who supported and participated in Inlet’s “Shine a Light on Lung Cancer” vigil last November.

Our small effort, combined with over 250 other small efforts, actually proved that even a few could have a huge impact on our government.

The legislation, which we were hoping and praying for, has been enacted.

Just hours before the end of the 112th Congress (the constitutional deadline for approval of a bill passed by that Congress), President Obama signed into law the first legislation requiring comprehensive plans of research action for high mortality cancers, with lung cancer and pancreatic cancer given priority status for expedited attention.

The final product, the Recalcitrant Cancer Act, represents a compromise worked out between the Congress and the administration on the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act and the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act.

This landmark legislation requires the National Cancer Institute to develop scientific frameworks for addressing cancers with survival rates of less than fifty percent, with first priority attention to lung and pancreatic cancers.

The framework must be sent to Congress within 18 months.

Lung Cancer Alliance President Laurie Fenton-Ambrose thanked the entire lung cancer advocacy community for their untiring efforts and unwavering support.

“Our mission is to cut lung cancer mortality in half by the end of the decade, and we have added another tool in our arsenal to help make this goal a reality,” she said.

“This legislation, coupled with the validation of CT screening as a bigger potential life saver than any other cancer screening method, and with the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense starting to screen high risk veterans and military, makes our goal absolutely possible,” Ambrose added.

Once again, thank you to local residents who had a stake in seeing that lung cancer was brought to the forefront of cancer research and gathered with us at the Inlet Town Hall to “Shine a Light on Lung Cancer.”

We will be holding our vigil annually until we see further concrete results in a victory over lung cancer.

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