Awareness – Pancreatic Cancer

6 11 2008

I lost a much loved grandma to this disease and I found out:

In 2008, over 38,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and nearly 34,000 will die. The 5 year survival rate is less than 5 percent and has remained largely unchanged in the last thirty years. Despite the sobering statistics, less than 2 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s federal research funding is currently allocated to pancreatic cancer.

This caused me alarm and I want to change this and we have a chance – there is a bill in congress that will allow more of our tax money to go to this research which is crucial knowing that having this cancer is a death sentence.

This bill has been introduced in the house (this is off pancan.org):

EXCITING NEWS: First ever substantive pancreatic cancer legislation (H.R. 7045) introduced!
U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) introduced H.R. 7045, the National Plan to Advance Pancreatic Cancer Research Act, on September 24, 2008. While Congress has passed legislation recognizing our awareness efforts for many years (otherwise known as the Proclamation – read more below), this is the first time that substantive legislation has been introduced to address the problems faced by our scientific research community. To read the text of this bill, please visit www.congress.gov and type in “HR 7045”, or click here to see a summary of the bill.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has been working with Reps. Eshoo and Brown-Waite to draft this bill, which is based on the National Plan to Advance Pancreatic Cancer Research. The National Plan was developed by our Scientific Advisory Board and launched to Congress with Dr. Randy Pausch in January 2008. Please click here to sign our online petition voicing your support for this historic legislation and your appreciation for the efforts of Reps. Eshoo and Brown-Waite.

While the introduction of this bill is an important step, we still have a lot of work to do to get this legislation passed and signed into law. There is not enough time to get this legislation passed this session, so we will be re-introducing it when the new Congress convenes in January 2009. Our work then will be to generate “co-sponsors” (supporters) for the bill among the U.S. House of Representatives. To get started today, please click here to visit our Take Action page and complete our Action Alert which informs members of Congress of this new piece of legislation, encourages them to become familiar with it over the break, and to co-sponsor the bill once it has been introduced in the 2009 session of Congress.s To see the press release that we issued on the bill introduction, click here.

Supplemental funding to the National Cancer Institute
Building on our successful efforts earlier this year to secure an additional $20 million for the National Cancer Institute, we have once again joined our colleagues in the cancer community to advocate that Congress add additional funds for cancer research to the current fiscal year budget – a much needed effort as the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute have been flat-funded for the past several years and the $20 million, while needed, was far from sufficient to meet the needs of the cancer research community. Congress is currently considering an economic stimulus package that would provide an additional $1.9 billion to the National Institutes of Health, part of which would go towards the National Cancer Institute. Both chambers will likely reconvene after the November elections for a “lame duck” session and will discuss the stimulus package. Please visit our Take Action Now page to see how you can encourage Congress to pass this package.

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