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Supporting Funding for Cancer Research

In May of this year, the President presented a 2018 budget to Congress that called for sizable cuts to the scientific and medical research community.  These cuts include large cancer researchers, like the National Cancer Institute (NCI), who would be hit with over $1 billion in cuts compared to its 2017 budget.  The importance of federal funding for cancer research is seen every day in treatment centers across the country.  The American Society of Clinical Oncology reports that the nation’s cancer death rate has dropped 25 percent since the early 1990s due to advances almost all stemming from research led by NCI.  Research that not only includes treatment of the cancer itself, but also the importance of palliative care.  According to the National Institute of Health, “NCI’s Division of Cancer Prevention supports research that addresses prevention and treatment of many cancer-related symptoms, including nausea and vomiting, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, pain, and sleep problems.” 

Ultimately, the budget will be in the hands of Congress.  With much media attention paid to the Affordable Care Act and tax legislation, it is important to not let the funding of medical research get lost in the shadows.  That is why on August 30th, Tenaciously Teal’s Executive Director, Tarah Warren, along with fellow Oklahoma cancer survivors and fighters, delivered over 600 petitions to Senator James Lankford asking for increases in cancer research funding.  Tarah noted the 18,000+ individuals in Oklahoma alone who will receive a cancer diagnosis this year.  “If you break that number down, that’s 50 Oklahomans a day that hear, ‘You have cancer.’  That’s mothers, fathers, daughters, brothers, and sisters who are relying on this funding and continued research.”

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