Advocates blitz Capitol Hill for cancer research

Advocates for people with cancer are heading to Capitol Hill this week to press lawmakers for $5.26 billion in funding for federal research programs.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and other groups will meet with lawmakers on Monday and Tuesday. Organizers said 130 advocates, including patients and doctors from 30 states and 70 congressional districts, will be part of the One Voice Against Cancer lobby effort.

“The federal government has played a critical role in every major advancement in the fight against cancer to date,” said Christopher Hansen, president of the network. “To fully realize our potential, we need lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to make defeating cancer — a disease that will affect 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women in their lifetime — a national priority.”

The groups are asking Congress to increase research funding, including money for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide state-wide screening programs and cancer registries.

Twenty-four other organizations are taking part of in the lobbying push, including the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the Susan B. Komen Foundation.

Last month, advocates took to Capitol Hill demanding more federal funding for childhood cancer research, including more funds for the NCI and reauthorization of the Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act. The bill would expand research and work on efforts to more quickly identify and treat cancer in young patients.