Cancer Deserves Attention as a Top National Priority
WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 28, 2014 – Cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones are calling on the president to commit to keeping the fight against cancer a top national priority. Cancer advocates will gather across the country tonight to watch President Obama’s State of the Union address, sending a message to the White House and Congress that increasing funding for cancer research, increasing the national tobacco tax, adequately funding proven prevention, and devoting full attention to implementation of important patient protections under the Affordable Care Act that improve access to quality health care are essential to our nation’s ability to eliminate death and suffering from cancer.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is organizing a live online watch party for volunteer advocates across the country. The State of the Union comes just one month after ACS CAN volunteers from across the country emailed and called their lawmakers, urging Congress to restore funding cut through sequestration for groundbreaking cancer research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and key lifesaving cancer prevention initiatives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Many cancers are no longer virtual death sentences, thanks in large part to past federal investment that has enabled discovery of early detection tests and targeted therapies that attack the disease, rather than the entire body,” said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of ACS CAN. “We should not rest on past progress, as 1,500 Americans are still dying each day from cancer, and continued and sustained investment in research and prevention is imperative to our ability to ultimately eliminate death and suffering from all cancers.”
It is estimated that more than 1.6 million people in America will be told they have cancer this year, and 585,000 people will die from the disease. The federal government continues to be the largest financial supporter of cancer research, and research funded by the NIH and the NCI has played a major role in every significant advancement in the fight against cancer over the last 70 years.
“Families affected by cancer are urging the president and Congress to work together and prioritize the fight to defeat cancer this year and every year until the disease no longer takes away our loved ones too soon,” said Christopher W. Hansen, president of ACS CAN.
To learn more about ACS CAN’s efforts to sustain federal funding for cancer research and critical cancer control programs, please visit: www.acscan.org/research.
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.
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