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Lung Cancer Collaborative kicks off with overwhelming response

12 December, 2021

Nearly 80 participants logged on to the first Lug Cancer Collaborative meeting in early November, confirming the need for more teamwork and action on prevention and screening for our state’s most prevalent cancer.

If you missed the meeting, here’s a look at what the LCC is and what collaborative members tackled.

About the collaborative

The LCC is a collaborative straddling prevention and early detection efforts. On the prevention side, those activities include lung cancer prevention through tobacco cessation, reduction of secondhand smoke exposure, and increased radon testing and mitigation. Early detection focus remains on screening, including access to screening and improving usage rates.

Dr. Chivonne Harrigal has volunteered to serve as a co-chair for the LCC, but a second co-chair has yet to be identified. Those interested can reach out to Cassie Goodman, an LCC staff liaison, to get details.

What was discussed at the kickoff

To say this first meeting was productive might be an understatement. In addition to hearing presentations that set the scene for the current state of lung cancer prevention and early detection in the state, collaborative members got to work on identifying barriers and activities to pursue.

One identified barrier to reducing lung cancer rates in the state has been a persistent challenge: clean indoor air policies. Exemptions in the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act (NCIAA) leave many of the state’s hospitality workers exposed to tobacco smoke at unhealthy levels similar to those seen during summer wildfires.

Another identified barrier to reducing lung cancer incidence in Nevada was knowledge and practices regarding screening. Awareness of newer techniques and screening guidelines, access to those technologies (low-dose computed tomography, or LDCT), and health care coverage for screening were all put on the table as challenges to overcome.

Efforts to pursue

As we said, this group got to work quickly. They identified four areas to target to reduce lung cancer incidence, with some building upon existing efforts. Here’s a quick list of what the LCC plans to pursue:

  • Identify and understand current screening coverage in Nevada
  • Increase screening programs in rural areas
  • Policy work, including support of Smoke Free Truckee Meadows
  • Improve cessation rates

Despite starting off with a robust membership, there’s always room for more people and organizations to join the work. Many hands make light work, or something like that.

If you’re interested in joining the LCC at its next meeting, scheduled for March 9, 2022, contact Cassie Goodman to get added to the list.

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