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Research and Advocacy

researc-saves-lives-and-moneyThose who go into medical research often have science on the mind.

Not politics.

But researchers who joined us for the 2013 Call-on Congress showed how the two fields merge. Particularly when funding is involved.

Fighting Colorectal Cancer at the Research and Policy Levels

I love how Nancy Roach, Founder and Chair of the Board, explains the importance of advocacy AND research in the One Million Strong PSA,

“I founded Fight Colorectal Cancer in 2006 because people who have been touched by colorectal cancer need a voice at the tables where decisions are being made that impact their survival.” – Nancy Roach

Fighting colorectal cancer demands more than raising awareness of disease. We must also push for funding that enables researchers to get closer to a cure and understand survivorship.

Talking Research

researchers-at-call-on-congress

A fantastic panel of distinguished researchers joined us at the 2013 Call-on Congress:

  • Dan Dixon, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Kansas
  • Andi Dwyer, Project Director for the Colorado Cancer
  • Johanna Bendell, MD, Director of Gastrointestinal Cancer Research and associate director of Drug Development at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute

Great speakers also enlightened us on the impact of research:

  • Max G. Bronstein, MPP, Research!America
  • Camille Bonta, Fight Colorectal Cancer Policy Expert

These professionals trained our advocates about many issues related to advancements in medical research and the federal budget’s impact:

Sequester breakdown flowchart_bipartisonpolicyORG

Federal budget cuts mean cuts in medical research

medical-research-not-deficit-reductionMax Bronstein from Research!America walked us through budget cuts, sequestration and debt ceilings. He showed us how funding cuts impact the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – two big agencies that fuel much of our country’s medical research.

Furthermore, policy expert Camille explained that the cost of doing business (and research) in the U.S. has gone up over the years… but federal budgets have not kept up.

Check out the slides from Max’s presentation: Funding Research in a Time of Fiscal Chaos

Young researchers may be leaving

The United States leads the world in medical research for now; however, Max explained that other countries are gaining on us, if not surpassing us, when it comes to federally-funded medical research.

“Young researchers may be leaving the field. All of us are waiting for new treatments. If we cannot fund research, we may miss out on those opportunities.” – Max Bronstein, Research!America

Read more – Research!America’s Facts About Cancer 2013

advocacy-determines-priorities

Cuts in Research Dollars Hit Home

Andi Dwyer walked us through the specifics of what happens when a research program is cut. She showed us that a center may be shut down, research assistant position eliminated, a program halted, a waiting list lengthened and trials discontinued.

Max also explained the challenging plight of researchers at the NIH who attempt to run massive research programs without a known budget.

Review Andi’s presentation slides: Cancer Survivorship Research

New, EXCITING findings in Colorectal Cancer Research

Although medical research faces challenges, Dr. Bendell shared the hope and advancements in research. She passionately explained how clinical trials increase understanding of colorectal cancer – especially when it comes to biomarkers and tumor classifications.

Understanding the exact type of tumor leads to life-saving treatments designed to combat specific disease states.

Read Dr. Bendell’s slides from her presentation: Promising Agents for CRC Treatment

Researchers Hit the Hill

dan-dixon-senator-roberts

Dan Dixon, PhD, and Senator Roberts from KS

Researchers joining us did not only offer training. Dan, pictured above, met with our RATS team.

Several of them joined us on The Hill. They experienced the power of telling their stories and explaining the importance of research funding with representatives first-hand.

Because the researchers themselves took time to advocate for colorectal cancer on Congress, it got their attention!

See, research and advocacy DO go together.

And Fight Colorectal Cancer makes that happen.

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