Hope is critical to the fight against cancer

Published 4:28 pm Friday, December 11, 2015

Hope is critical to the fight against cancer. Whether it’s hope for a better treatment or just a better day, hope is what keeps most cancer patients going; it’s also what’s on the horizon on capitol hill when it comes to increased medical research funding. For the first time in a long time both sides of the aisle are moving toward substantially boosting the budgets of the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.

The NIH and NCI are the cornerstones of cancer breakthroughs in the U.S. Their work has been involved in every major breakthrough resulting in 319 more lives saved from cancer each day than in 1991.

These grants have helped build the world’s best research infrastructure, but one which is at risk of crumbling.  When adjusted for inflation, funding for the NIH and NCI has declined by more than 20 percent in the last ten years. These cuts have left possible new treatments in test tubes instead of in oncology clinics, forced young researchers to leave science in search of reliable income, and have left the future of cancer treatment in question.

Now is the time to reverse this trend. I’m calling on Sen. John Cornyn to support allocating and additional $3 billion in funding for the NIH in 2016. This investment will help develop research and infuse patients across the country with what they need most: hope.

Nancy Neel

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer

Silsbee, Texas