Tomorrow, nearly 700 pancreatic cancer advocates from across the country, including more than 100 survivors, will join us on Capitol Hill to make the impossible possible by urging Congress to make cancer research funding a federal priority.
This comes at a pivotal time since earlier this year pancreatic cancer surpassed breast cancer to become the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States.
We along with Advocacy Day and National Call-in volunteers will urge Congress to put the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on a path to sustained growth by appropriating $34.5 billion for the NIH, including $5.9 billion for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), to fully fund the Cancer Moonshot Initiative and make progress on the nation’s deadliest cancers.
“To ensure Congress continues to make cancer research funding a priority, we need even more committed individuals to join our efforts,” said Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA, our president and CEO. “More funding has the potential to save lives, provide hope to those affected and ignite the cancer research community. Cancer research funding is an area that unites us all.”
Of the 53,070 Americans who will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, many will be advanced-stage because there are no early detection methods. And with limited effective treatment options, most will not survive.
Our organization has long advocated for increased federal support in an effort to improve patient outcomes. In large part to these efforts, the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act was signed into law by President Obama in 2013.
The law required the NCI to develop scientific frameworks for recalcitrant cancers, beginning with pancreatic and lung cancers. The statute also defined recalcitrant, or deadliest, cancers, as those cancers with a five-year survival rate below 50 percent.
Since the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s founding in 1999, NCI funding for pancreatic cancer has increased 500 percent.
While advocates are on the Hill, we invite the nation to join thousands of supporters to call members of Congress for the National Call-in tomorrow and ask for an increase in funding for cancer research.