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Upstate 'Shines a Light on Lung Cancer'

Upstate 'Shines a Light on Lung Cancer'

SYRACUSE, N.Y.-- Lung cancer is the second most common cancer for both men and women with more than 224,000 new cases diagnosed nationally in 2016, and an estimated 158,000 deaths. To raise awareness and support lung cancer patients and their families, Upstate Medical University invites the community to help Shine a Light on Lung Cancer with a vigil in the Upstate Cancer Center Atrium on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. This event is tied to a national recognition of November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month and will be held in conjunction with The Great American Smoke Out, which also is Nov. 17.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, claiming more lives each year than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined,” said Leslie J. Kohman, MD, FACS, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery and Upstate Cancer Center’s outreach director. “Upstate is committed to educating the community about lung cancer, detecting new cases as early as possible, and treating those who are diagnosed with comprehensive, compassionate and cutting-edge care.”

One way Upstate is helping in the fight against lung cancer is to catch the cancer before it spreads. The lung cancer screening program at the Upstate Cancer Center can help individuals detect cancer at an earlier stage. This program is for current and former smokers of at least one pack per day for 30 years or two packs per day for 15 years who are 55-77 years of age (for Medicare/Medicaid coverage). Those interested in this program should consult with their physician to cover eligibility and insurance provider to determine coverage.

The vigil featured remarks from Kohman and testimonials from individuals and families affected by lung cancer. Onondaga County Health Commissioner Indu Gupta, MD, MPH, MA, FACP, also spoke.

The tradition of lighting luminaries in honor of those affected by lung cancer will continue this year. Luminary bags are currently available at the Upstate Cancer Center. Anyone wishing to decorate a luminary to be included in the display of shining lights can pick one up ahead of time, or decorate it just prior to the start of the vigil.