This year in South Carolina it is estimated that 27,260 people will be diagnosed with cancer. For them, the cuts to cancer research that took place as a result of the sequester are very real. Because of these cuts, 1,000 fewer people were able to enroll in potentially lifesaving clinical trials this past year and the National Institutes of Health, the nation’s medical research center, has lost more than $1.5 billion, a reality felt by cancer research labs across the country.
This holiday season, I’m holding out hope that Congress will still do what’s right for cancer patients and their families and turn off the sequester, reinvesting in the fight against this devastating disease.
There are nearly 14 million cancer survivors alive in the United States today because of past cancer research breakthroughs. But resting on past progress is a dangerous proposition. The across the board cuts to federal research could cost us the progress made in the fight against cancer.
I urge members of Congress to consider what’s at stake for families impacted by cancer that might be counting on the next big breakthrough in treatment or relying on federally funded local programs for cancer screenings. Let’s give a little hope for the holidays and not continue to jeopardize progress in the fight against cancer.
Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network