WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives and Co-Chairs of the Congressional Lung Cancer Caucus Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Rick Nolan (D-MN) last week introduced the “Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventive Services Act” to require a comprehensive study on women and lung cancer. Representatives Barbara Comstock (R-VA) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) joined as original cosponsors of the bipartisan legislation.
The bill, H.R.4897, directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to conduct an interagency study to evaluate the status of and make recommendations for increased (1) research on women and lung cancer; (2) access to lung cancer preventive services; and (3) strategic public awareness and education campaigns on lung cancer.
Prior studies have shown that women are at greater risk than men of being diagnosed with lung cancer at young ages. In the United States, an average of 193 women die each day of lung cancer, one every 7 minutes.
“Countless individuals across the country have been devastated by lung cancer. This is a very personal issue for my family, responsible for the death of both of my wife Tina’s parents. This is a disease that knows no boundaries in who it affects thus we must double our efforts to raise awareness and reduce mortality,” Rep. LoBiondo said. “I remain committed to working with Reps. Nolan, Comstock, Bonamici and other colleagues and groups who want to help make real strides against lung cancer.”
“When it comes to supporting lung cancer research, we can and must do better. The study directed by our bill will begin to help us understand why there is a greater prevalence of lung cancer amongst women and, in particular, amongst women who have never smoked. Though the passage of this bipartisan, bicameral legislation would mark but one small step in the fight against lung cancer, it would make an enormous difference to those who are battling lung cancer and their loved ones. I am proud to join my Congressional Lung Cancer Caucus Co-Chair Frank LoBiondo as an original cosponsor of this measure,” said Rep. Nolan.
“The Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventive Services Act will provide critical resources in combating the largest cause of cancer death in women, lung cancer. We all know someone who has been devastated by lung cancer. I lost a best friend this past year and I join as an original cosponsor on this important bipartisan legislation in honor of Kate O’Beirne, who we lost last April. This legislation will allow us to make greater progress in battling lung cancer and providing increased access to preventive services that can save lives,” Rep. Comstock said.
“My mother is a lung cancer survivor, so I know we can and must do more to prevent this devastating disease and support women who are battling it,” Rep. Bonamici said. “I’m proud to join this important bipartisan effort that will improve lung cancer research and result in better outcomes for women.”
“Lung cancer is a women’s health imperative which is why we are so thankful to these Congressional leaders for putting partisanship aside to bring a greater sense of urgency to saving lives and improving quality of life,” said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, President and CEO of Lung Cancer Alliance. “This legislation will help us learn more about why lung cancer presents differently in women which in turn will help to inform a comprehensive plan of attack to reduce the overall impact of lung cancer – the leading cause of death among women and men.”
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women; the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2018, 70,500 women will die of lung cancer, almost as much as the combined total of all estimated deaths from breast cancer (40,920), ovarian cancer (14,070), cervical cancer (4,170), uterine cancer (11,350), and other gynecologic cancers (2,530).
A bipartisan companion measure was introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).