Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27), today renewed the call for increased funding for cancer research after an American Cancer Society report was released today showing an increase in cancer deaths in the United States.
“I am disturbed to see that the number of cancer deaths have increased, even if only slightly,” Congressman Higgins said. “The results of this report demonstrate the need for increased funding for cancer research, and to ensure that all citizens, whether they are insured or not, have access to preventive screening and quality cancer treatment and care.”
The results, chronicled in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts and Figures 2008, come not more than two weeks after the President proposed decreased funding for the cancer research activities of the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, both which play a central role in preventing and treating cancer. NIH and NCI funding is critical for Western New York, as both Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University at Buffalo rely on these resources to conduct and enhance their growing biomedical research activities.
“The fight against cancer should be a collective battle, bringing together all relevant parties, including Members of Congress, federal agencies, research institutions, hospitals, health insurers, and advocacy groups to assess what the needs of the cancer community are,” Higgins said. “The Bush Administration has unfortunately written off such collaboration, cutting the cancer community off at its knees by decreasing federal support for research. These cuts stifle the ability of researchers to quickly transfer the escalating pace of scientific discoveries into new treatments, therapies, and drugs that alleviate the suffering of millions of cancer patients and their families.”
The report also chronicles the estimated incidence of cancer in the United States in 2008. The report predicts that in 2008 there will be 1.437,180 new cancer cases. In New York State alone, it is predicted that there will be 97,130 new cancer cases in 2008. Nationwide, the report estimates the following number of new cancer cases in 2008:
· Breast: 184,450
· Lung: 215,020
· Leukemia: 44,270
· Prostate: 186,320
· Skin: 67,720
In addition, the National Institutes of Health estimates that the overall cost of cancer in the United States in 2007 was $219.2 billion.
"With nearly 50 million Americans uninsured, and with the cost of healthcare skyrocketing for citizens from all walks of life, our government is at a critical juncture when it comes to facing the war on cancer. We must increase funding for cancer research, increase public awareness as to how cancer can be prevented, encourage citizens to get preventive screenings to stop the spread of cancer in its tracks, support the professionals who administer care, and ensure that our healthcare system works for patients who are in remission to ensure that their cancer does not come back undetected." Higgins said.