FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON September 19, 2017
Contact: Megan Snowdowne
Marketing & Communications Manager
Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina
(919) 784-0410 ext. 102
AWARENESS CAMPAIGN TAKES LUNG CANCER RISK HEAD-ON, ASKING NORTH CAROLINIANS TO SCREEN TOGETHER
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and RALEIGH, NC, September 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Veracyte, Inc. today announced the launch of Screen Together (www.ScreenTogether.com), an awareness campaign aimed at increasing routine screening among the millions of Americans at high risk for lung cancer. This unique campaign, introduced locally in partnership with the Lung Cancer Initiative, encourages those at risk for lung cancer to get screened along with a friend or loved one who may also be at risk.
Early detection of lung cancer through screening can dramatically increase survival for those at risk of the disease. At least 8.6 million Americans are considered high risk for lung cancer and are recommended to receive annual screening. If half of those high-risk individuals were screened, more than 13,000 lung cancer deaths could be prevented each year.
“Lung screening with a yearly low-dose chest CT, accompanied by smoking cessation counseling, if needed, is the best way to identify lung cancer in its earliest and most curable stages,” said Jennifer Garst, MD, board chair of Lung Cancer Initiative and professor of medicine in the Duke Thoracic Oncology Program. “People who have been identified as high risk due to their smoking history and age can find facing the screening process overwhelming and frightening. Screen Together encourages those at risk to find a partner to help them through the process and keep each other accountable to their commitment to get screened.”
Current or former smokers between the ages of 55 and 74 in North Carolina are encouraged to visit the Screen Together website (www.ScreenTogether.com) to find a local lung cancer screening center and pledge their commitment to get screened with a friend, neighbor, colleague or family member. Medicare Part B covers free annual screening for qualifying individuals.
“We are delighted to be working with the Lung Cancer Initiative to get the word out about the benefits of early detection of lung cancer,” said Bonnie Anderson, Veracyte’s chairman and chief executive officer. “It is a tragedy that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, when a patient can undergo a simple low-dose CT scan for early detection that could save their life. At Veracyte, we are committed to the fight against lung cancer, helping to give patients a clearer path forward through innovative science that enables more accurate diagnosis, reduces unnecessary invasive procedures and may one day help to prevent this deadly disease.”
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States, with 80-90 percent of lung cancer deaths associated with smoking. In North Carolina, lung cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed, and the state has a greater prevalence of lung cancer as compared to the national average. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, annual screening with low-dose CT scan provides the greatest benefit in decreasing lung cancer mortality compared with biennial or triennial screening.
“Lung screening has now become an important part of our health maintenance with primary care but it is still frequently overlooked. This new campaign is a wonderful way for people to advocate for their health and do so with the support of others in similar circumstances,” said Dr. Garst. “Screen Together may increase the chances of actually getting people in the door to get screened and subsequently save people’s lives.”
About Screen Together
Screen Together is an initiative that encourages those at risk for lung cancer to get screened along with a friend or loved one who may also be at risk. Through awareness activities, Screen Together aims to reach at-risk individuals where they live, work and play and inspire them to take charge of their health with the support of a friend, neighbor, colleague or family member and pledge to get screened for lung cancer at www.ScreenTogether.com.
In North Carolina, Veracyte is collaborating with Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina to drive awareness of Screen Together in their state.
About Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina
As the state’s leading non-profit organization supporting lung cancer research and education, the Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina specializes in connecting patients, survivors and loved ones with the medical and research community. The organization’s mission is to save lives and provide support to those affected by lung cancer through research, awareness, education and access programs across North Carolina. For more information, or to get involved, visit www.LungCancerInitiativeNC.org.
Veracyte (NASDAQ: VCYT) is a leading genomic diagnostics company that is fundamentally improving patient care by resolving diagnostic uncertainty with evidence that is trustworthy and actionable. The company's products uniquely combine genomic technology, clinical science and machine learning to provide answers that give physicians and patients a clear path forward without risky, costly surgery that is often unnecessary. Since its founding in 2008, Veracyte has commercialized three genomic tests, which are transforming the diagnosis of thyroid cancer, lung cancer and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and collectively target a $2 billion market opportunity. Veracyte is based in South San Francisco, California. For more information, please visit www.veracyte.com and follow the company on Twitter (@veracyte).
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as: "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "expect," "believe," "should," "may," "will" and similar references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, our plans with respect to expanding the program’s reach and the potential benefits of our Percepta test. Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are based only on our current beliefs, expectations and assumptions regarding the future of our business, future plans and strategies, anticipated events and trends, the economy and other future conditions. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: demand for our tests, the applicability of clinical results to actual outcomes; laws and regulations applicable to our business, including potential regulation by the Food and Drug Administration or other regulatory bodies; our ability to successfully achieve and maintain adoption of and reimbursement for our products; the amount by which use of our products are able to reduce invasive procedures and misdiagnosis, and reduce healthcare costs; the occurrence and outcomes of clinical studies; the timing and publication of clinical study results; and other risks set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks set forth in the company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2017. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and Veracyte specifically disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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 2017 American Lung Association “Lung Cancer Fact Sheet” http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/resource-library/lung-cancer-fact-sheet.html
 2017 American Cancer Society “Key Statistics for Lung Cancer” https://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-small-cell-lung-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
 2017 Center for Disease Control and Prevention “Lung Cancer Rates By State” https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/statistics/state.htm
 2016 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. “Final Recommendation Statement: Lung Cancer: Screening” https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/lung-cancer-screening