Support for Lung Cancer Research

Each year lung cancer kills more people than breast, prostate, colon and pancreas cancers combined. Even though it is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., there is no cost-effective screening test, and research for the disease is the least funded in dollars per death compared to the other four major cancers. Education, awareness and proper funding can offer people with lung cancer more hope.

With lung cancer, symptoms often don’t appear until the cancer is advanced and treatment options are limited. Only 16 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed in the first, most curable stage. That’s why more funding is needed to help develop a cost-effective, safe, screening test.

Lung cancer also carries a stigma not associated with other types of cancer. It’s often thought of as the “disease of smokers,” but 15 percent of patients diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked.

Gundersen’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders collaborated with the University of Wisconsin’s Paul Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center in Madison to raise awareness about the lack of funding for lung cancer research in Wisconsin and throughout the country. Gundersen Medical Foundation has also joined the partnership by committing to a joint fundraising campaign. It will create an endowment to support a full-time lung cancer research professorship at the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR) at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison.

The goal of the campaign is to raise $1 million, with Gundersen Medical Foundation committing to raise half. Dollars raised by the Foundation will establish a permanent lung cancer research endowment here, with a gift from endowment earnings given to the University on an annual basis in support of the professorship. The larger the endowment gets, the more dollars that will be available for lung cancer research projects right at Gundersen. Learn more about the awareness campaign.

Living For Liz (L4L)
Living For Liz is dedicated to raising awareness of lung cancer and works in partnership with Gundersen’s Lung Cancer Awareness Group.

Their primary purpose is to educate the general public about lung cancer, raise money to fund lung cancer research, and provide useful resources and information for families and individuals struggling with lung cancer.

Living For Liz was created to honor Elizabeth Holman-Melde, a non smoker, who passed away seven short months after being diagnosed with lung cancer in September 2011. She had just gotten married and was 25-years-old. Learn more at

Learn more about lung cancer:
  • is the leading cause of death in the United States among every ethnic group.
  • accounts for 1 in every 3 cancer deaths.
  • kills twice as many women than breast cancer.
  • kills three times as many men than prostate cancer.
  • Eighty-five percent of lung cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis because of late-stage detection.
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