Increased resources needed for lung cancer

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Patient groups from around the globe demand increased spending and improved access to treatment for lung cancer

10 million people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year1

Ottawa, ON (October 29, 2004) -- Today, leading patient groups from around the world call for global support in the fight against one of the world’s biggest killers – lung cancer.  Members of the Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC) unite once again, for the fourth International Lung Cancer Awareness Month, to highlight the inadequacies in funding for lung cancer research.

The outlook is alarming

  • 50% of patients will die within a year of diagnosis. 2
  • 1 in 10 people go on to live longer than five years.3 
  • The disease is just as prevalent in developed continents as in developing ones.4

Lung cancer can be treated and is potentially curable if diagnosed early.5

The GLCC’s plea mirrors the concerns expressed by leading international lung cancer specialists. According to research carried out at the World Congress on Lung Cancer in 2003, more than 200 physicians from around the world warned that lung cancer receives inadequate funding and that people avoid seeing their doctor through fear of diagnosis. In addition, two-thirds of the survey respondents considered that removing the stigma would encourage people to seek help earlier.

  “As a leader in lung health, The Lung Association is pleased to be looking to the future with this group and helping to improve public understanding of lung cancer,” stated Deirdre Freiheit, President and CEO, The Canadian Lung Association.  “If we can help to educate people, we are hopeful that the rate of early diagnoses will increase, ultimately saving people’s lives.”

Why should patients with this disease be deprived of hope? A diagnosis of lung cancer is devastating enough for patients and their families without the added pressure of lack of access to treatment and the stigma associated with the disease.

The Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC) is the world's first international coalition of lung cancer patient organizations. The group established Lung Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness worldwide about lung cancer, to educate people about the symptoms and to challenge the many misconceptions and stigmas that surround the disease. The theme of the 2004 awareness month is “No one in the world deserves lung cancer”.


The WCLC survey included 205 physicians who were chosen at random from delegates attending the World Congress on Lung Cancer, an estimated 10 per cent of the total attending.  Physicians taking part in the survey came from 35 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA.

More information about the GLCC  



  1. Perin N, Global variation in cancer incidence and mortality, Current Science September 2001:81; 5


   4.    Ferlay, J. et al. GLOBOCAN 2000: Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide IARC CancerBase

       No. 5.    Version 1.0, IARCPress, Lyon, 2001

5.    Strauss, GM. Lung Cancer Screening and Randomized Population Trials, International Conference on Prevention and Early Diagnosis of Lung Cancer, Varese, Italy Dec. 9, 10, 1998: 57-97.


For further information or to arrange an interview with the Canadian Lung Association’s CEO, please contact:

Mary-Pat Shaw
The Lung Association, National Office
613-569-6411 ext. 227



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