Next week, Jennifer Coston, from Merrill, will join more than 700 cancer patients, survivors, volunteers and staff from all 50 states and nearly every congressional district in Washington, D.C., as part of the annual American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Leadership Summit and Lobby Day.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month - New bill would increase childhood cancer research
Childhood cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death among children ages one to 19.
Breakthroughs in childhood cancer research have led to more and more children surviving their cancer diagnosis, but progress in treating certain types of cancer remains limited. And, children who survive cancer, often must deal with a lifetime of medical side effects.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. To honor this month, ACS CAN is supporting the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research Act of 2017 - the STAR Act.
The STAR Act increases funding for childhood cancer research with the goal of improving the lives of children with cancer.
To accomplish this, the STAR Act:
- Increases federal funding for childhood cancer research – Most cancer research is done by the federal government. The STAR Act expands federal research into childhood cancer with the goal of learning more about the causes of pediatric cancer.
- Improves the data collection – The STAR Act gives money to states to collect data on how many children in each state are diagnosed with cancer. This data can be used by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to learn more about the various types of childhood cancer to better target research studies.
- Enlarges the role of childhood cancer research at the NIH – The STAR Act requires that the NIH have at least one pediatric cancer doctor on their National Cancer Advisory Board. This board is responsible for reviewing and approving grant funding. By ensuring a childhood cancer expert has a place at the table, the NIH can better prioritize childhood cancer research.
- Expands research on the long-term effects of childhood cancer treatments – Over 60% of childhood cancer survivors go on to experience a chronic health condition later in their life. The STAR Act increases funding on the long-term effects of childhood cancer treatments with the goal of developing new, less toxic cancer treatments for children.
Currently, the STAR Act has been introduced in the House and the Senate. In the House, over 60% of the members have signed on as co-sponsors. During the month, ACS CAN and other patient groups are working to gain more co-sponsors and to move the bill forward in both the House and the Senate.
Are you ready to help end childhood cancer?
In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, send a message to your members of Congress and ask them to enhance our nation's work in treating and curing childhood cancer by supporting the STAR Act.