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Texas Cancer Organizations Urge State Legislature to Fully Fund the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas
Date:4/30/2009

AUSTIN, Texas, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The issues of cancer and the economy are converging in the Texas Legislature this spring, as our state senators and representatives vote on funding for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). Texas voters overwhelmingly approved the constitutional amendment authorizing $3 billion over 10 years in general obligation bonds for CPRIT in November 2007. Now, the time has come for the Legislature to fulfill the wishes of Texas voters and fully fund the Institute, so it may process and award the grants necessary to prevent, treat and even cure cancer.

In the midst of all the discouraging news about the economy, last fall the American Cancer Society announced in its Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer that both the incidence and death rates of cancer in the United States decreased. This is good news.

We have the ability to continue this encouraging trend, and -- despite the timing -- we can't let fears about the economy stop us. We're all mindful about public spending, but we must remember that while cancer research, prevention and screening programs cost money in the short term, the lack of such programs costs much more in the long term. In 2007, the burden of cancer cost Texans $22 billion.

In addition, CPRIT has the potential to improve the Texas economy. When fully funded, the Institute will substantially increase cancer research in Texas -- creating high-quality new jobs for Texans and boosting the economy of Texas industries. According to a recent analysis by Families USA, spending by National Institutes of Health (NIH) created or supported more than 20,000 new jobs in Texas in 2007. And, every NIH research dollar spent in our state generated $2.49 in state economic output.

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Oversight Committee has been hard at work. Since last June, the committ
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SOURCE Lance Armstrong Foundation; American Cancer Society; Kill Cancer; Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; Susan G. Komen for the Cure; Texas Medical Association
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