The text of the resolution is below.
Recognizing the 40th anniversary of the National Cancer Act of 1971 and the more than 12,000,000 survivors of cancer alive today because of the commitment of the United States to cancer research and advances in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment.
Whereas 40 years ago, with the passage of the National Cancer Act of 1971 (Public Law 92–218; 85 Stat. 778), the leaders of the United States came together to set the country on a concerted course to conquer cancer through research;
Whereas the passage of the National Cancer Act of 1971 led to the establishment of the National Cancer Program, which significantly expanded the authorities and responsibilities of the National Cancer Institute, a component of the National Institutes of Health;
Whereas the term “cancer” refers to more than 200 diseases that collectively represent the leading cause of death for people in the United States under the age of 85, and the second leading cause of death for people in the United States overall;
Whereas cancer touches everyone, either through a direct, personal diagnosis or indirectly through the diagnosis of a family member or friend;
Whereas, in 2011, cancer remains one of the most pressing public health concerns in the United States, with more than 1,500,000 people in the United States expected to be diagnosed with cancer each year;
Whereas the National Institutes of Health estimated the overall cost of cancer to be greater than $260,000,000,000 in 2010 alone;
Whereas approximately 1 out of every 3 women and 1 out of every 2 men will develop cancer in their lifetimes, and more than 570,000 people in the United States will die from cancer this year, which is more than 1 person every minute and nearly 1 out of every 4 deaths;
Whereas the commitment of the United States to cancer research and biomedical science has enabled more than 12,000,000 people in the United States to survive cancer, 15 percent of whom were diagnosed 20 or more years ago, and has resulted in extraordinary progress being made against cancer, including—
(1) an increase in the average 5-year survival rate for all cancers combined to 68 percent for adults and 80 percent for children and adolescents, up from 50 percent and 52 percent, respectively, in 1971;
(2) average 5-year survival rates for breast and prostate cancers exceeding 90 percent;
(3) a decline in mortality due to colorectal cancer and prostate cancer; and
(4) from 1990 to 2007, a decline in the death rate from all cancers combined of 22 percent for men and 14 percent for women, resulting in nearly 900,000 fewer deaths during that period;
Whereas the driving force behind this progress has been support for the National Cancer Institute and its parent agency, the National Institutes of Health, which funds the work of more than 325,000 researchers and research personnel at more than 3,000 universities, medical schools, medical centers, teaching hospitals, small businesses, and research institutions in every State;
Whereas the commitment of the United States to cancer research has yielded substantial returns in both research advances and lives saved, and it is estimated that every 1 percent decline in cancer mortality saves the economy of the United States $500,000,000,000 annually;
Whereas advancements in understanding the causes and mechanisms of cancer and improvements in the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer have led to cures for many types of cancers and have converted other types of cancers into manageable chronic conditions;
Whereas continued support for clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy and therapeutic benefit of promising treatments for cancer is essential for translating new knowledge and discoveries into tangible benefits for patients, especially because all standard cancer therapies began as clinical trials;
Whereas, despite the significant progress that has been made in treating many cancers, there remain those cancers for which the mortality rate is extraordinarily high, including pancreatic, liver, lung, multiple myeloma, ovarian, esophageal, stomach, and brain cancers, which have a 5-year survival rate of less than 50 percent;
Whereas research advances concerning uncommon cancers, which pose unique treatment challenges, provide an opportunity for understanding the general properties of human cancers and curing uncommon cancers as well as more common cancers;
Whereas crucial developments have been achieved in cancer research that could provide breakthroughs necessary to address the increasing incidence of, and reduce deaths caused by, many forms of cancer;
Whereas research into the effect of certain forms of cancer on different population groups offers a significant opportunity to lessen the burden of the disease, because many population groups across the country suffer disproportionately from certain forms of cancer; and
Whereas a sustained commitment to the research of the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute is necessary to improve the entire spectrum of patient care, from cancer prevention, early detection, and diagnosis, to treatment and long-term survivorship, and to prevent research advances from being stalled or delayed: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) recognizes the 40th anniversary of the National Cancer Act of 1971 (Public Law 92–218; 85 Stat. 778); and
(2) celebrates and reaffirms the commitment embodied in the National Cancer Act of 1971, specifically, that support for cancer research continues to be a national priority to address the scope of this pressing public health concern.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the 40th anniversary of the National Cancer Act, U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Tuesday reaffirmed America’s commitment to battle the disease while the introducing a bipartisan resolution recognizing the nation’s commitment to cancer research.
Moran is the lead Republican sponsor of the resolution, which has numerous Senate co-sponsors and is supported by more than 100 cancer-fighting groups. More than 12 million Americans have survived cancer due in part to the commitment to research and advances in prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment, Moran said in a joint news conference at his Washington office building.
“With passage of the National Cancer Act 40 years ago this month, our nation coordinated a focused effort to combat cancer through research,” Moran said. “Today, the National Cancer Institute and its parent agency, the National Institutes of Health, support critical research across the country, enhancing the work of universities, medical schools, teaching hospitals, private bioscience businesses and research institutions in every state. This national commitment to research has saved millions of lives and billions of dollars.”
With a focus on advocacy and keeping up the fight, Relay for Life of Barton County organizers were buoyed by the news.
“It is a great feeling to know that the people that we elect in Kansas are as committed to ending cancer as we are in Barton County,” said Linn Hogg, local relay advocacy chair. “Not only has Sen. Moran taken a stand on this issue, he is making a statement in Washington, D.C., that cancer research must remain a top priority in the national budget.”
Hogg said it has been proven with many a statistic that research has extended lives creating more birthdays. “That means another birthday for you, your spouse, your children and your friends. We have a long way to go. Make your voice known. Let Sen. Moran know that you are behind is efforts.”
“Virtually all of us know someone who has been affected by cancer,” Brown said during the conference. “We know a survivor – or remember a victim. We know that cancer affects not just the patient, but also parents, family, friends, and loved ones.”
This year, more than 1.5 million Americans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer. One out of every three women and one out of every two men will develop cancer in their lifetimes. “But we also know that behind the statistics are stories of perseverance and strength—stories that motivate us to fight harder and with one voice.” Brown said.
Since the act was signed into law in 1971, the five-year survival rate for all cancers combined has risen consistently, Moran said. “As a direct result of our nation’s commitment to cancer research, we have come to understand more about the nature of cancer, its complexity, and the tools needed to fight this disease effectively. With this resolution, we reaffirm our commitment to advancing important cancer research and saving lives.”
But challenges remain, and that’s why along with celebrating the anniversary of the act, there is a pledge to advancing cancer research, Brown said. The pledge makes this national priority and is a step towards “making sure cancer is a thing of the past.”
Given the progress made over the last century and the potential current research holds, Moran believes the United States must not waiver on its commitment. In September, he offered an amendment to restore funding to the National Institutes of Health budget. This amendment was fully offset and would have prioritized medical research without adding a dime to our nation’s annual deficit.
The resolution has more than 40 Senate co-sponsors, both Democratic and Republican, and is supported by more than 100 patient groups, cancer institutes, hospitals, and medical schools. The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, the University of Kansas Cancer Center, the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, and the Case Western Comprehensive Cancer Center, among others, have endorsed the resolution.