State Rep. Rose speaks out on lung cancer

State Rep. Kim Rose (D-Milford), a lung cancer survivor and strong advocate in raising awareness about the devastating and increasing lung cancer trend across the nation, recently lauded a proclamation issued by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to mark Aug. 1 as Lung Cancer Day in Connecticut.

Rose ought to be applauded for speaking out about this form of cancer and encouraging people to get screened if they are at risk.

According to the National Cancer Institute, it is estimated that 228,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 159,000 men and women will die of cancer of the lung and bronchus in 2013. It is the second most common cancer and the primary cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women in the United States. It kills more people each year than breast, colon and pancreatic cancer combined.

“Based on what I have learned and thanks to all the resources I’ve found, dealing with a lung cancer diagnosis and treatment has been a lot more bearable,” Rose said. “I want everyone to have as much access to education and information as possible, so that when individuals or loved ones are faced with this situation they can be well informed.”

Raising the visibility of lung cancer detection and treatment options can help save lives, Gov. Malloy said, adding, “I appreciate Rep. Rose’s advocacy on this issue. She is a strong voice for an important public health initiative.”

Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, but risks are increased by exposure to second-hand smoke and exposure to environmental pollutants. Screening current or former heavy smokers for early detection decreases the risk of dying from lung cancer.

“Patients with lung cancer have more hope than ever before, and new treatment options are continually available through clinical trials,” said Dr. Thomas J. Lynch Jr., director of Yale Cancer Center and physician-in-chief of Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. “I’m pleased that Gov. Malloy has taken the opportunity to support lung cancer patients and to recognize the importance of education and awareness of lung cancer.”

Rose said her first-hand experience from her own battle with lung cancer showed her how this disease affects a person’s entire life and intrudes in every aspect of daily activities.

“I have been blessed to have had access to the best possible treatment and have recovered remarkably well,” Rose said. “Early detection is essential to survival and resources must be allocated for testing.”