On behalf of cancer patients, survivors and their families, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is pleased to see the president’s continued focus and dedication to achieving the goal of the Cancer Moonshot, to end cancer as we know it. President Biden prioritized reducing the cancer burden nationwide in his FY24 budget through increased investment in accelerated research at the Advanced Research Projects Agency on Health (ARPA-H) and investment in cancer prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The budget also included modest increases for the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute, as well as a dedicated funding mechanism for the Cancer Moonshot initiative.
The following is a statement by ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse on the president’s FY24 budget release:
“President Biden continues to identify opportunities to focus the resources of the federal government to address the more than 200 diseases known as cancer. Robust and sustained investment in research is tantamount to our ability to identify prevention, early detection, screening and treatment for those cancers where we still don’t have answers.
“A proposed increase of $920 million for the National Institutes of Health, including an increase of $500 million for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), as well as $1 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency on Health (ARPA-H), and a proposal to reauthorize the 21st Century Cures Act Cancer Moonshot through 2026, will continue to build on the critical advances we’ve made to date and spur further discovery that is essential to further reducing death from cancer.
“While it is clear the president is keenly focused on accelerating discovery, ARPA-H funding should not come at the expense of basic and clinical research at NIH and NCI – research that has been and will continue to be paramount to our ability to achieve the goals of the Moonshot. We will continue to elevate the importance of NIH and NCI’s work and advocate for robust increases year over year to maximize our potential to end cancer as we know it.
“A funding increase for cancer control programs like the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program and the Office of Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would further promote proven cancer prevention and early detection. It is imperative that federal resources are dedicated to applying what we know and promoting discovery for the cancers that remain deadly. On behalf of families impacted by cancer ACS CAN looks forward to further detail on the president’s priorities in the coming weeks.
“The federal government has played an instrumental role in cancer advances and discovery over the last half century. Clinical trials conducted through the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) are estimated to have extended the lives of patients with cancer in the U.S. by at least 14.2 million life-years. As the largest public funder in the fight against cancer, that investment by the federal government must continue uninterrupted.
“To truly realize the potential of the advances we have made and will make in how we prevent, detect, treat and promote survivorship, equitable access to affordable, comprehensive care is imperative. Making marketplace subsidies permanent and closing the Medicaid coverage gap both play a pivotal role in achieving the president’s ambitious Cancer Moonshot goal of significantly reducing cancer incidence and deaths in the next 25 years. Furthermore, having access to paid medical and family leave is critical for cancer patients, caregivers and survivors. ACS CAN research has found, 74% of cancer patients and survivors say they missed work due to their illness; most of whom reported missing more than four weeks of work. If we are to significantly reduce cancer deaths, we must work to ensure individuals aren’t forced to choose between their treatment and their employment.
“Progress to date is undeniable, but much work remains. On behalf of the 1.9 million individuals who will hear the words, ‘You have cancer’ and the families of more than 609,000 who are expected to die from the disease in America this year, Congress must build on the president’s budget and prioritize funding for cancer prevention and research so we can end cancer as we know it, for everyone.”
This press release was originally published March 9, 2023, by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. It is republished with permission.