An Open Letter to Rush Limbaugh (Part 3)

Continuing with the not so good news...(Warning: not for the faint of heart.)

Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of men and women. It kills nearly twice as many women as breast cancer and three times as many men as prostate cancer. In fact, lung cancer kills more than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.

Lung cancer's disproportionate lack of research funding

More than 228,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer and more than 135,000 Americans will die from lung cancer this year.

Although lung cancer is the number one cancer killer by a longshot, it is the least funded in terms of federal research dollars compared to other major cancers. For example, the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program funds medical research of many types of cancers and other diseases.

This year, the CDMRP’s Breast Cancer Research Program was appointed $130 million. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer is about 90 percent. The Prostate Cancer Research Program is funded at $100 million this year. The five-year survival rate for prostate cancer is 98 percent.

Remember, lung cancer kills nearly twice as many women as breast cancer and three times as many men as prostate cancer. Each and every day, more than 400 Americans die from lung cancer. And, yet, the CDMRP’s Lung Cancer Research Program was appointed only $14 million.

Let's speak frankly about survival statistics

This is pure bulls---!

The lung cancer survival rate is just under 20 percent. Rush, it’s important to note that survival rate has increased recently, due to the advances mentioned above. When I was diagnosed in 2005, the five-year survival rate was 15 percent.

Listen, no one wants to pit one cancer against another. We are not asking to take anything from breast or prostate cancer funding. But we want fair and equal treatment. This is discrimination of the worst kind. This type of discrimination kills. We have been advocating for this wrong to be righted for several years -- to no avail. Perhaps with your help shining a light on this injustice, we will get funded at least $100 million next year.

Lung cancer does not discriminate

Lung cancer cares not about political persuasion, gender, race or anything else for that matter. Lung cancer can strike any person from any walk of life. At times it strikes a high-profile person like you. I hope and pray you will share with your audience things you learn through your personal journey with lung cancer. You are in a position to do so much good -- at virtually no risk or cost.

Best wishes for a healthy and long life

Rush, welcome to the lung cancer community, a club no one wants to join.

There truly has never been a better time to be diagnosed with this disease. I trust you are getting the best medical care available. Like millions of others, I am praying for you and Kathryn. My prayer is for you to be a beneficiary of the latest medical breakthroughs in lung cancer treatment.

Best wishes for a healthy and long life.

Warmly,

Dusty

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