WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate approved an FY 2019 spending bill today that includes a $2 billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a $190 million funding boost for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The bill preserves current funding levels for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cancer screening and early detection programs and for the CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health (OSH). The bill also provides $2 million for nationwide cancer registries and allocates $875,000 for programs dedicated to reducing skin cancer.

A statement from American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) President Chris Hansen follows:

“The combined Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies spending bill passed by the Senate today is essential to developing promising new cancer diagnostic tests, treatments and therapies. Increases in federal funding are critical to scientific development against a disease that is expected to claim the lives of more than 600,000 Americans this year.

“Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-OR), who together lead the appropriations subcommittee, should be commended for their ongoing bipartisan effort to bolster the work of NIH and to protect funding for essential early detection programs at CDC and maintain funding for OSH. Tobacco remains the number one preventable cause of cancer and OSH leads federal efforts to reduce tobacco-related death and disease by funding activities that help prevent youth from starting to use tobacco and help adult tobacco users to quit.

“ACS CAN is also pleased to see an additional $2 million for cancer registries at the CDC, which will be used to start tracking pediatric cancer cases as outlined in the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act, as well as an additional $875,000 for activities aimed at reducing the incidence of skin cancer. Cases of melanoma, the mostly deadly form of skin cancer, have been on the rise for decades and skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer.

“Research shows up to half of all cancer deaths might be prevented through eliminating tobacco use, proper diet, regular exercise, managing weight, and getting recommended preventive screenings for cancer. These important preventive efforts together with increased research are key to reducing cancer-related death and suffering.

“We applaud the Senate’s passage of this appropriations bill  and urge the House take up and pass the Senate’s budget for FY 2019.”

This press release was originally published on the Cancer Action Network website on August 23, 2018.