Investment in cancer research by Congress a victory: Letter

Congress recently approved this year’s budget and it included a $2 billion increase for medical research funding at the National Institutes of Health. It was only six weeks ago that the White House budget proposal suggested cutting this year’s funding by $1 billion. However, thanks to the leadership of Congresswoman Nita Lowey and her colleagues and because of countless advocates across the country who made their voices heard, we stopped the potentially devastating proposal in its tracks.

On behalf of the 15.5 million cancer patients in this country, thank you Congresswoman Lowey for standing up and supporting medical research funding — and for including a $475 million increase specifically for cancer research at the National Cancer Institute.

This investment will help accelerate the pace of progress against cancer, a disease that still kills nearly 600,000 people in America every year. Consistent and continual funding increases for the NIH are essential to ensuring researchers can keep developing new potentially life-saving diagnostic tests, treatments and therapies.

It won’t be long until Congress starts debating next year’s budget. But today, we can celebrate this bipartisan victory. Looking ahead, I urge lawmakers to maintain this sense of urgency and to prioritize cancer research when crafting next year’s budget.

Marcia Earle
The writer is a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

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