Over the past 18 months since diagnosis, Kathryn and I have learned many things we never knew. One critical lesson was in how lung cancer is perceived. Some view it as only a smoker’s disease or even that people with lung cancer somehow deserve it. (No one deserves it by the way, smoker or not). This phenomenon shows up in how research dollars are distributed throughout the realm of cancer research. Consider these stats from the SEER Cancer Statistics Review 2017.
Federal research funding dollars by cancer type, dollars per cancer death:
- Breast-$24,061 (5 year survival of 90%)
- Prostate-$14,533 (5 year survival of 99%)
- Colorectal-$7372 (5 year survival of 65%)
- Lung-$2399 (5 year survival of 18%)
Lung cancer kills more people each year than the other three cancers listed above combined. Yet, lung cancer lags way behind in research dollars.
The survival rates are for that entire cancer family. There are more aggressive varieties within each. For example, my wife’s type of lung cancer (ALK) has a five year survival rate of 4%.
This is why I am running and raising money. I’m trying to save my wife’s life and the lives of anyone suffering from lung cancer.
Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer and no one deserves it. Let’s close the funding gap and move that 18% survival rate much higher!