Congressman Says Eliminating Cancer Death and Suffering Should Be America’s Goal
Today, Tuesday, June 27, 2006, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced his plan for local and federal initiatives to eliminate suffering and death due to cancer.
“Now is an extraordinary time in cancer research. Physicians and scientists, including those at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, are making impressive progress in unraveling cancer’s dark mysteries,” said Congressman Higgins. “They are developing new ways to prevent cancer before it becomes life-threatening and in some cases to prevent it altogether. Adequate federal financial support is essential to this mission but this is about more than dollars and cents: full funding for cancer research and prevention can convert the 2007-08 budget into an enduring American legacy, describing with clarity and courage both the nation we are and the nation we want to be.”
The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, is the Federal Government’s principal agency for cancer research and training. The NCI has a goal of eliminating all suffering and death due to cancer by the year 2015. Congressman Higgins believes this should be America’s goal. The President’s proposed 2007 Budget cuts funding to the National Cancer Institute by over $39.7 million.
Congressman Higgins is proposing the following steps in his agenda to support the 2015 goal:
1. Congressman Higgins will offer legislation that fully funds NCI, he will continue to do that every year until NCI receives the funding it needs.
2. Congressman Higgins will support projects that advance the mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and that of other local cancer research, treatment and advocacy projects.
3. Congressman Higgins will support expanding programs that detect cancer early and help Americans get treatment. These programs significantly reduce the cost to our nation’s health care system by treating people early.
On average, each year there are almost 5,500 new cancer cases and over 2,300 cancer related deaths in Erie County. In Chautauqua County approximately 845 are diagnosed with cancer and 335 people die from cancer each year.
“Roswell Park Cancer Institute is deeply committed to fulfilling the National Cancer Institute pledge to reduce the suffering and death due to cancer,” said Donald L. Trump, MD, Vice President for Clinical Research, Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “We take this opportunity to raise awareness of the need for increased cancer research funding. Continuous funding is key to reaching this goal.”
In the 1970s, less than half of those diagnosed with cancer lived five years after diagnosis. Today, that rate has advanced to 65% for adults and 80% for children. Today more than 10 million cancer survivors live in America, and is illustrated by a statistic unthinkable a generation ago –more people today live with cancer than are dying from it.
Despite progress, challenges still remain. One in two men are likely to develop invasive cancer in their lifetime; for women, it is one in three. Last year, more than one million new cancer cases were diagnosed while 500,000 succumbed to the disease.