Last month, in a show of support for adequate funding of cancer research, 186 House members signed a letter backing a 6.7 percent increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which includes the National Cancer Institute (NCI). C3 advocates joined others in the cancer community in requesting a 6.7 percent increase for NCI and NIH.
Last week the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Subcommittee marked up a bill containing only a 1.9 percent increase for NIH and a 1.5 percent increase for NCI. This is inadequate to maintain the progress we’ve made against cancer.
There will be 153,700 new cases and 52,180 deaths from colon and rectal cancer this year. Without sufficient funds cancer research which could provide a cure will slow to a crawl. There will be less basic research of cancer, which means we won’t know how normal cells become cancerous and the best intervention points. Fewer new treatments will result in fewer options for people suffering from colorectal cancer. Decreased investigation of how to better use existing treatments means we won’t know who would benefit from what treatment.
Should this small increase pass it will continue the inadequate funding of the past several years and would actually be a decrease when inflation is considered.
The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to meet this Thursday to consider the LHHS Subcommittee recommendation. We need to tell all the members of the committee that this increase is unacceptable and that they can – and must – do better for us. We want a little less talk and a lot more action.
Call the members of the Appropriations Committee and let them know these numbers are unacceptable! For a listing of committee members and their phone numbers, click here (PDF file).