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Letter to the Editor: Cancer research needs funding

Friday, July 9, 2010

There are 11 million cancer survivors in this country today because of past investments in medical research. I am one of those fortunate individuals, thanks to those who championed cancer research in the past. However, 1,500 people still die from cancer in America each day because there are no effective detection and treatment tools for some of the deadliest cancers.

New screening tests and treatments won't see the light of day if we fail to make federal funding for cancer research a top priority. Each year, 1.4 million people in America are told they have cancer. To ensure groundbreaking new research projects are not short-circuited, Congress must make cancer research funding a top priority.

I am calling on all members of Congress to boost funding for the National Institutes of Health to $35 billion and the National Cancer Institute to $5.8 billion to sustain research funding at levels provided last year in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Too many families are still waiting for the development of screening tools and treatments for the deadliest cancers. Congress must act this year to provide the funds needed to ensure the progress being made against cancer is not reversed.

WAYNE C. PRESSLEY, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Volunteer, Cape Girardeau