Lung Cancer Proclamation Signed by Governor Branstad

Des Moines, IA  – On Wednesday, November 28, Governor Terry E. Branstad signed a proclamation designating November 2012 as Lung Cancer Awareness and Education Month in Iowa. Governor Branstad was joined by lung cancer survivors and their families and friends during the ceremony held at the State Capitol in Des Moines. Also present were representatives from the American Lung Association, Mercy Cancer Center in Des Moines, Des Moines University and the American Cancer Society.

 “The Governor’s Proclamation is recognition of the significant impact of lung cancer in Iowa and the importance of finding ways to reduce the burden of lung cancer for Iowans,” said Micki Sandquist, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Iowa.

Later in the day, the American Lung Association sponsored a free, two-hour workshop, Frankly Speaking about Lung Cancer. The workshop focused on the latest treatments for lung cancer. Dr. Bradley Hiatt, a medical oncologist from Des Moines, and Rose Richman, a lung cancer nurse navigator from Mercy Cancer Center, spoke about the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, and about side-effects of care and how to effectively manage those side effects. Rose and Dr. Hiatt also shared tools to overcome the social and emotional challenges of lung cancer. 

Two lung cancer survivors, Gail Orcutt and Lori Tassin, shared their personal stories of triumph over lung cancer during the event. Lori encouraged the audience with the message that a lung cancer diagnosis may be an opportunity to develop stronger ties to support and spiritual systems while battling cancer.

Information about lung cancer:

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Iowa and in the United States;
  • In 2012, lung cancer will account for one out of every four cancer deaths;
  • In the United States in 2012, about 226,160 new cases of lung cancer are estimated to be diagnosed, accounting for almost 14 percent of all cancer diagnoses;
  • In the United States lung cancer was estimated to cause 160,340 deaths in 2012 accounting for about 28% of all cancer deaths;
  • In Iowa in 2012, there will be an estimated 2,360 people who are newly diagnosed with lung cancer, and that over 1,740 residents will succumb to the disease;
  • Lung cancer causes include smoking, secondhand smoke, exposure to toxins and known carcinogens, radon and genetic abnormalities;
  • An estimated 90% of lung cancer deaths among men and approximately 80% of lung cancer deaths among women are attributed to smoking;
  • Lung cancer has a poor prognosis and even with treatment, people with advanced non–small cell lung cancer have a 5-year survival rate of less than 5 percent;
  • Increased awareness and coordination among all stakeholders – federal and state governments, providers, patient groups, community leaders and organizations, the public, businesses, and researchers – is critical to promote the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.

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About the American Lung Association in Iowa: Our mission is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit