November Kicks Off First-Ever Lung Cancer Awareness Month in Texas
HOUSTON–Lung cancer will kill more people this year than all other cancers combined, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, and melanoma. Lawmakers are hoping a bill passed this session will raise awareness of this deadly disease.
“I am proud of my colleagues in the State House and Senate for their bipartisan support this past session of HB 1449 which establishes November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month in Texas,” State Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) said.
House Bill 1449, authored by Rep. Bohac and Sen. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville), a physician, permanently establishes November as Lung Cancer Awareness month.
“This is a horrible disease, and we must do all we can to raise awareness, support efforts to improve screening and increase research funding,” Sen. Deuell said.
“Lung cancer is considered the ‘silent killer’ because unlike most other forms of cancer, it is virtually undetectable until it is far too progressed,” Bohac said. “Because of social stigmas often associated with lung cancer, this disease does not receive enough attention, research, and funding. It’s an extremely deadly disease that plagues both non-smokers and smokers. More than 20 percent of lung cancer victims have never smoked.”
HB 1449 states that Lung Cancer Awareness Month may be recognized in public schools across Texas and in other places to raise awareness of lung cancer and support for lung cancer research.
“This legislation will bring attention to lung cancer in our public schools each November and, equally important, allow for a broader discussion of cancer in general,” Bohac said.
“Research has shown that through public education and policy changes, the number of people affected by lung cancer can be reduced,” Claudia Rodas, regional government relations director for the American Cancer Society, said. “We urge the Legislature to continue to bring awareness to this devastating disease by passing policies and funding programs for early detection and education about lung cancer and treatment.”
Bohac was also a co-author of Proposition 15 which calls for creation of a Cancer Research and Prevention Institute of Texas which if approved by voters this November will use voter approved bonds to fund 3 billion dollars in state cancer research and prevention.
Bohac recently joined 7-time Tour de France champion and Texas cancer survivor, Lance Armstrong, at the Kelsey-Sebold Clinic in Houston to urge the passage of Proposition 15.
Proposition 15 is also endorsed by the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Texans To Cure Cancer and the Texas Medical Association.
The statewide constitutional amendment and bond proposition election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 6, 2007. Early voting is from Monday, October 22nd through Friday, November 2nd.
“Since his initial election to the State House, Representative Bohac has been a tireless supporter of Spring Branch ISD. He has worked hard to increase funding for our schools, including his strong support of the bill that provided pay increases for our staff in the last legislative session. Representative Bohac has also worked closely with our district to obtain support and passage of our initiatives to eliminate Robin Hood and to provide additional funding for high quality pre-K.”Mike Fallick, SBISD School School Board, Former President