100 signatures reached
To: The Right Honourable Ms Susan Ley, Minister for Health
Routine screening for at risk groups.
Dear Honourable Ms Ley,
I would like to bring to your attention the deplorable state of affairs with regards to lung cancer patients in this country.
Around 8,500 people will die of this aggressive and debilitating disease in 2015. many are diagnosed too late to be effectively treated. Trials in the US have indicated that routine screening of at risk groups greatly help in detecting the condition at an earlier stage.
By screening over 55s with a smoking history of 30 pack years with Low Dose CT scans, their health outcomes were greatly improved.
We implore you to implement such trials nation wide at the earliest possible convenience, particularly in areas of underprivilege where the disease is more rampant. Lung Cancer affects indigenous people, returned service men and women, European migrants and industrial workers at a greater rate than other sections of the population.
We implore you to consider this matter with the importance it deserves.
Advocate and Carer
The Australian Lung Cancer Foundation
Why is this important?
At the Australian Lung cancer Foundation our aim is to advocate for the equitable funding of those afflicted with lung cancer regardless of age, race or gender. At the moment, public and private spending on people afflicted with lung cancer runs a long way behind those diagnosed with other cancers..
For too long people with lung cancer are treated like pariahs. Many are non-smokers. Some have never smoked. In fact, lung cancers that affect never smokers are the number ten biggest killer of all the cancers.
Addiction and lifestyle are behind many cancers, lung cancer is no different. Nevertheless, those with lung cancer are asked to bear the burden of blame for their cancer.
Few funds are supplied for the research or treatment of lung compared to other cancers. Cancer Councils nationwide are too busy courting the sexier cancers and themselves shun lung cancer. Cancer NSW seems to be the exception here.
Public funding runs at about 10% of other more treatable cancers. Private funding runs at an astonishing 3% at most of the more successfully funded Breast cancers, for example.
There are many reasons for this, but in large part we feel that this is due to the fear driven anti-smoking regime we live under. While this has been successful to a degree in reducing smoking in the community, it masks the terrible way that people diagnosed with lung cancer feel.
The five year survival rate for lung cancer is around 15%. Breast and Prostate are closer to 90%. We want for lung cancer patients what people with other cancers get, both from private and public sources.
The first step is routine screening like Breast and Prostate cancers have. This makes perfect sense from a Public Health perspective. We can see no good reason why this cannot be implemented immediately.
How it will be delivered
We will send the signatures via email, snail-mail, and promote the petition on our website. We will also use the signatures as part of our press release for lung cancer awareness month.