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The Obama Cancer Plan Should Prioritize Prevention, Says Cancer Prevention Coalition
Date:1/23/2009

CHICAGO, Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --President Barack Obama is the first new President to develop a comprehensive cancer plan.

While the plan reflects strong emphasis on oncology, disturbingly no reference is made to prevention, and the wide range of avoidable causes of cancer.

The plan defines and coordinates the responsibilities of four federal agencies: the National Cancer Institute (NCI), for research and clinical trials; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for epidemiological follow up and support of cancer survivors; the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, for funding cancer related care; and the FDA, for regulating cancer drugs.

In 1971, Congress passed the National Cancer Act which authorized the National Cancer Program, calling for "an expanded and intensified research program for the prevention of cancer caused by occupational or environmental exposures to carcinogens." Shortly afterwards, President Richard Nixon announced his "War Against Cancer," and authorized a $200 million budget for the NCI. Since then, its budget has escalated by nearly 30-fold, to $5.3 billion this year.

Meanwhile, the incidence of a wide range of cancers, other than those due to smoking, has escalated sharply from 1975 to 2005, when the latest NCI statistics were published. These include malignant melanoma (172%), Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (79%), thyroid (116%), testis (60%), and childhood cancers (38%).

As widely reported in the November 26, 2008, press, the NCI claimed that the incidence of new cancers has been falling from 1999 to 2005. However, this is contrary to its latest sta
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SOURCE Cancer Prevention Coalition
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