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Lisa Niemi Swayze And The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Join More Than 160 Organizations In Asking Congress To Protect Medical Research Funding
Date:9/17/2013

f the National Board of Directors.  MacCaskill, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer seven years ago, is the first pancreatic cancer survivor to hold this position. 

The NIH budget has been effectively cut 20 percent already over the last decade because funding has not kept pace with biomedical inflation.  The $1.6 billion cut to NIH that went into effect in March 2013 is on top of these previous cuts. 

"The continued decrease in NIH funding is extremely problematic for diseases like pancreatic cancer, which is one of our nation's leading cancer killers," said Julie Fleshman.  "There are currently no early detection methods and limited treatment options for this disease, and incidence and mortality are on the rise. Real progress requires sufficient and sustained federal funding.  It is our hope that our leaders in Washington can come to this same understanding."   

At six percent, the five year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is the lowest of all major cancers. This statistic is particularly alarming when you consider the survival rate for all cancers is 68 percent. Pancreatic cancer is currently the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but is anticipated to become the second by 2020. Federal funding for the NCI and NIH is critical to continue the fight against this deadly disease and improve patient outcomes.

Last year, Congress took a stand for pancreatic cancer patients by passing the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act.  The statute calls on the National Cancer Institute to develop scientific frameworks to provide strategic direction in the fight against pancreatic and other deadly cancers.  It will be very difficult to leverage the opportunities that come out of this effort unless NIH's funding situation is rectified," said Fleshman.

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SOURCE Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
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