HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – Known as the most common cause of cancer death in the U.S., lung cancer takes the lives of more people than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined.
According to the American Cancer Society, in Virginia 3,520 people are estimated to have died from the disease this year alone.
“Lung cancer is a national issue; it’s actually a global issue,” said Andrea Ferris, president and CEO of LUNGevity Foundation. “It is a very large and pervasive disease that up until recently, did not have a lot of treatment options available to it, but because of advancements in science it now does.”
One of the scientific breakthroughs is comprehensive biomarker testing.
Medical oncologist Dr. Jorge Gomez said it helps find the best way to fight back against non-small cell lung cancer, the most prevalent form of lung cancer.
“Comprehensive biomarker testing is very important because it can help us predict whether or not some treatments are likely to work,” Dr. Gomez said. “The way we figure out whether or not those patients are good candidates for treatment is by doing comprehensive biomarker testing.”
“It’s geared toward the general public to make sure that no one diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer is missed when it comes to having comprehensive biomarker testing because this testing is vital,” Ferris said. “Everybody's lung cancer is different. There are different things that are driving each person's non-small cell lung cancer.”
The message will soon be on billboards, bus stops and at doctor’s offices. The goal is to spread awareness and information that could make a difference in a person’s treatment and help them beat the odds.