“The Conquer Cancer Foundation is grateful for the support from Lung Cancer Alliance. We are enthusiastic about working together to fund cutting edge lung cancer research through the Young Investigator Award,” said Nancy R. Daly, MS, MPH, executive vice president and chief philanthropic officer of CCF.
By supporting the YIA program, Lung Cancer Alliance hopes to encourage physicians early in their careers to pursue research in lung cancer. Not enough researchers are currently entering the field because of a lack of federal research funding for lung cancer.
“We are so proud to work with Conquer Cancer Foundation and the Young Investigator Award program,” said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, president and CEO for Lung Cancer Alliance. “There are so many exciting developments occurring for lung cancer. With this grant, we hope to encourage the best and the brightest to choose lung cancer as their field of study to keep the new discoveries coming.”
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in the United States.1 It remains the fifth-highest cause of cancer death in nonsmokers.2
One of the major challenges is the stigma associating lung cancer with smokers, creating the pervasive belief that patients with lung cancer brought the disease upon themselves. “Sometimes patients even blame themselves, but the truth is that it doesn’t matter,” Ms. Fenton Ambrose said. “What does matter is that everyone who is diagnosed with lung cancer receives unconditional support to deal with this disease.”
Lung Cancer Alliance is changing the narrative through policy and advocacy initiatives such as the Congressional briefing series, held in coordination with the Congressional Lung Cancer Caucus. The Congressional briefing series educates and informs congressional members and their staff about important issues affecting the lung cancer community, such as eliminating the stigma associated with lung cancer, reducing mortality, improving survivorship, furthering research, and ensuring access to care.
The National Lung Cancer Summit is another policy and advocacy initiative of Lung Cancer Alliance. Now in its eighth year, the National Lung Cancer Summit in Washington, DC, connects more than 100 survivors and loved ones impacted by lung cancer with their elected representatives in order to advance health policy initiatives and help increase lung cancer research funding.
Lung Cancer Alliance offers numerous support services run by licensed clinical social workers and mental health professionals to assist patients and families affected by lung cancer. The LCA Unite mobile app provides access to chat rooms, tracking for treatment side effects and for medical appointments, and a resource map for treatment and screening centers, support groups, and events. The phone buddy program offered by Lung Cancer Alliance provides peer-to-peer support by connecting patients with someone undergoing a similar experience. The Grief and Understanding in Death and End-of-Life Support (GUIDES) program offers support for caregivers. Anyone may contact Lung Cancer Alliance for assistance navigating the disease from diagnosis through treatment and into survivorship programs.
Lung Cancer Alliance encourages ASCO members to consider hosting a “Shine a Light on Lung Cancer” event at their hospital or practice in November during Lung Cancer Awareness month to raise awareness of the disease. Other ways for ASCO members to get involved with Lung Cancer Alliance include contacting the organization to discuss research collaborations and engaging with them through social media to share stories that affect the lung cancer community.