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Boyle, Bonamici, Dingell, Fitzpatrick, Rutherford Introduce Bill to Study and Prevent Lung Cancer Among Women

April 10, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON DC – Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and Congressman John Rutherford (FL-04) today introduced the bipartisan Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventative Services Act of 2019. The bill will encourage more research into the prevention and treatment of lung cancer in women, particularly for those who have never smoked, and require federal agencies to evaluate and report their findings to Congress. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women, and it is more likely to affect women than men who have never smoked. The original cosponsors of the bill released the following statements upon its introduction:
“Though the medical community has made incredible strides preventing and treating lung cancer over the past decades, women are being left behind,” said Congressman Boyle. “Every eight minutes, one American woman dies of lung cancer, 181 each day, and their lung cancer rates are falling at half the rate of men. This bill is an important step toward ensuring Americans of all genders can be spared the devastation of this disease. It’s past time the full force of the federal government addresses this issue with the focused research and action it demands.”
“We must do more to prevent lung cancer and support patients – especially women – who are battling this devastating disease,” said Congresswoman Bonamici. “For me, this issue is personal. Several members of my family have been diagnosed with lung cancer, including my mom, who is a lung cancer survivor, and my mother-in-law, who recently passed away shortly after her diagnosis. I’m committed to help lead this bipartisan legislation to improve outcomes for women, who are disproportionately affected by lung cancer.”
“For too long, the lack of research has stalled our ability to find treatments and cures for diseases that affect women differently than men,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “I got my start in public service because my college roommate got sick and through our efforts to help her, we learned that NIH didn’t conduct research specifically on woman. We changed the NIH, but there’s still more progress to be made. Our bipartisan efforts to encourage more research on prevention and treatment of lung cancer in women will save lives.”
“With some studies showing women are more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than men, more research and resources must be directed to better understand this disease and mitigate this alarming statistic, especially among non-smokers,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “I am proud to support this bipartisan, bicameral legislation and to stand with those affected by this disease to promote enhanced prevention and treatment.”
“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women, yet it is the least funded of the major cancers affecting women,”said Congressman Rutherford. “This needs to change. This bill is an important first step toward understanding why non-smoking women face higher prevalence rates than men. As co-chair of the Lung Cancer Caucus, I am committed to not only addressing these disparities but also finding a cure to benefit all who are impacted by this terrible disease.”
“Lung cancer is a public health imperative for women and there is no stronger signal of support to improving health outcomes than the legislative action taken today by these Congressional leaders”,said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, Co-Founder, President and CEO of GO2 Foundation (formerly of Lung Cancer Alliance).  “We lose too many women to this disease, which is why we need to move rapidly to reverse this deadly trend by ensuring access to life-saving early detection and increasing research.”
A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Joe Manchin (D-WV).