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Senate Passes Rubio, Smith Resolution to Recognize November as National Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Dec 1, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tina Smith (D-MN) applauded the U.S. Senate’s passage of their resolution to designate November 2021 as National Lung Cancer Awareness Month (S.Res.462). The resolution promotes the importance of early detection of lung cancer to help save lives. It also recognizes the need for research to improve early diagnosis, screening and treatment.
Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Tim Scott (R-SC) cosponsored the resolution. 
The resolution is also supported by the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, the American Lung Cancer Screening Initiative (ALCSI), the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, and the Oncology Nursing Society.   
The full text of the resolution is below. 
Whereas lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among men and women in the United States, accounting for more deaths than colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer combined;
Whereas 1 in 15 men and 1 in 17 women in the United States will develop lung cancer during their lifetime;
Whereas it is estimated that, in 2021, 235,760 individuals in the United States will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and 131,880 individuals will die from the disease;
Whereas lung cancer incidence is decreasing twice as fast in men as in women, each year more women die from lung cancer than breast cancer, and by 2035, it is estimated that more women will die from lung cancer than men;
Whereas disparities in lung cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and mortality are well-documented, and Black men have the highest incidence of lung cancer and the highest mortality rate from lung cancer of any racial or ethnic group;
Whereas, annually, lung cancer in individuals who have never smoked is the seventh leading cause of cancer-related death and accounts for between 17,000 and 26,000 deaths in the United States;
Whereas women who have never smoked are more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than men who have never smoked;
Whereas, in the United States, the proportion of lung cancers diagnosed in individuals who have never smoked is increasing;
Whereas the 5-year survival rate for localized lung cancer is 60 percent, yet only about 18 percent of lung cancers are diagnosed at this stage;
Whereas screening individuals at high risk of lung cancer using low-dose computed tomography can detect lung cancer earlier than other forms of screening and ultimately save lives;
Whereas lung cancer screening can effectively reduce lung cancer mortality, but, annually, only between 2.8 and 7.2 percent of individuals in the United States eligible for lung cancer screening undergo lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography;
Whereas current lung cancer screening guidelines help catch cancer early for individuals at high risk of lung cancer, leading to a higher likelihood of successful treatment, but can preclude screening for individuals who develop lung cancer, including individuals who have never smoked but have other risk factors, such as family history of lung cancer, exposure to secondhand smoke, or exposure to radon, which is the second leading cause of lung cancer; and
Whereas educational efforts can increase awareness of lung cancer and lung cancer screening among the general public, patients and their families, and health care workers, thereby increasing the early detection of lung cancer: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) designates November 2021 as “National Lung Cancer Awareness Month”;
(2) supports the purposes and ideals of National Lung Cancer Awareness Month;
(3) promotes efforts to increase awareness of, and education about, lung cancer among individuals in the United States;
(4) champions efforts to increase lung cancer screening by raising awareness among, and improving access for, individuals who are eligible for lung cancer screening;
(5) recognizes the need for research on the early screening, diagnosis, and treatment of lung cancer; and
(6) encourages the people of the United States to observe National Lung Cancer 
Awareness Month with appropriate awareness and educational activities.