Acting governor Ralph DLG Torres, during a double proclamation signing yesterday, declared November Lung and Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in recognition of the CNMI’s commitment to making lung cancer a public health priority through advocacy, support and care for those affected by cancer so that research funding and prevention continue to be supported.
The proclamation acknowledged how lifestyle factors contribute to the risk and development of cancer and urged the people of the CNMI to educate themselves and explore ways to decrease their risks and promote a healthier lifestyle.
It also confirmed that lung cancer is the most common cancer among residents of the CNMI.
Commonwealth Cancer Association program manager Juan L. Babauta, the board of directors, members of the cabinets, CHCC staff, and House representatives were present during the ceremony.
Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. medical director Dr. Daniel Lamar expressed his sentiments on the issue stating how there is widespread misconception on how tobacco is part of the culture.
Torres stated, “I’ve learned the hard way and none of us really have a say in who’s going to get cancer or what their experience will be. We can only move forward, live healthy, and support and remember those who have gone through it.”
The proclamation further reiterated that 10 to 15 percent of lung cancer cases occur in people who have never smoked and over 90 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking and that only 16 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer have a five-year survival rate.