Publicly Funded

Publicly Funded Research

Prevent Cancer Foundation
Policy Statement (Updated February 2012)
Publicly Funded Research and Cancer Control

The Prevent Cancer Foundation consistently advocates for publicly funded research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We believe that the government should continue to make cancer research and prevention a top priority.  Innovative research is of the utmost importance in the fight against cancer, and Federal funding is a catalyst for medical progress.

Congress’ past support for cancer research and control programs has led to an overall reduction in cancer incidence and mortality.  Sustained funding in the fight against cancer is critical to achieving long-term and permanent success.  Cancer research and control programs supported by Congress have the potential to lead to breakthroughs in areas such as genetics and personalized medicine, forever changing how cancer is prevented and treated.  Advances like this have the potential to yield long-term economic benefits and reduce the human toll of cancer.

The NIH was founded in 1887 and is one of the world’s foremost medical research centers.  It is often referred to as the “crown jewel” of medical research in the United States.  The mission of the NIH is to acquire new knowledge to help prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat disease and disability.  It is comprised of 27 separate Institutes and Centers and is under the umbrella of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The NIH and its institutes conduct research in their own laboratories, supports the research of non-Federal scientists in universities, medical schools, hospitals, and research institutions around the country and abroad.  The Institute also helps to train research investigators and foster the communication of medical and health sciences information.

The NCI is one of the 27 Institutes at the NIH.  The NCI was established under the National Cancer Institute Act in 1937 and was broadened in 1971 by the National Cancer Act.  The NCI coordinates the National Cancer Program, and much like the NIH, conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients.

It is also important to note that half of all cancer deaths last year could have been detected early and aggressively treated, or prevented altogether simply by using the knowledge and tools that are already available to us today.  The CDC cancer prevention and control programs provide vital resources to every state for cancer monitoring and surveillance, screening programs, tobacco cessation, state cancer control planning and implementation, and awareness initiatives targeting skin, prostate, colon, ovarian, and blood cancers.  Enhanced funding for the CDC in FY 2013 will ensure that a half-million women are screened for breast cancer, tens of thousands of men and women have access to colorectal screening, and provide greater support for state and local awareness and education programs. 

If the NIH, NCI and CDC do not receive substantial budget increases, their abilities to award grants and conduct life-saving research will be greatly compromised, which translates immediately into fewer discoveries, fewer new drugs in development, and fewer new treatments reaching patients. It threatens the infrastructure of our clinical research and the pace of basic research.  Making cancer a national priority through secure and steady Federal funding will save millions of lives, reduce immeasurable suffering, and save the nation billions of dollars in healthcare costs.

As Congress and the President debate the FY2013 budget, the Prevent Cancer Foundation will advocate for the following levels of funding for cancer research and prevention:

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

$32.7 billion

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

$5.7 billion

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cancer and Tobacco Programs

National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program: $50 million
National Program of Cancer Registries: $65 million
National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program: $275 million
olorectal Cancer Screening, Education & Outreach Initiative: $70 million
National Skin Cancer Prevention Education Program: $5 million
Prostate Cancer Awareness Campaign: $25 million
Ovarian Cancer Control Initiative: $10 million
Geraldine Ferraro Blood Cancer Program: $6  million
Gynecologic Cancer and Education and Awareness (Johanna’s Law): $10 million
Office of Smoking and Health: $125 million