Budget Cuts Could Impact Breast Cancer Research

Columbia, SC (WLTX) The American Cancer Society is raising concerns over the 2018 federal budget.

The budget includes deep cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Medicaid. If approved by Congress, the cuts would decrease the NIH budget by 21 percent, decrease the NCI budget by 21 percent, cut the CDC’s chronic disease program by nearly 20 percent and reduce Medicaid funding by more than $600 billion.

Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) issued this statement.

“Cutting the NIH budget by $7.1 billion would seriously jeopardize the development of new, potentially life-saving cancer diagnostic tools, prevention methods and treatments. It would also risk eroding the basic scientific research that, when combined with private investment, spurs American medical innovation and economic development. Most specifically, the cuts would completely undermine the increases for research secured in the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act meant to accelerate progress against diseases like cancer.

“Cancer research is on the verge of significant new breakthroughs that could help save lives from a disease that continues to kill more than 1,650 Americans each day. Just last week, the American Cancer Society released a report showing one in every five adult cancer diagnoses and two of every three childhood cancer diagnoses are considered rare. These patients and their families depend on the promise and progress of continued research investment to develop new therapies that will help to get and keep their specific diagnoses in check.  

“In addition, cutting the CDC chronic disease budget by nearly 20 percent threatens to substantially weaken vital tobacco prevention and cessation programs as well as important efforts to address nutrition, physical activity and obesity—all significant cancer risk factors.

“The results of these cuts combined with the more than $600 billion reduction for Medicaid funding, could leave millions of Americans without access  to meaningful health care and prevention services.

“To date, the federal government has played a critical role in our ability to reduce the cancer burden. Such drastic budget reductions would have the potential to devastate the nation’s standing as the global leader in cutting-edge medical research and scientific discovery, hamper progress in detecting cancer early when it’s least expensive to treat and most survivable and severely restrict low-income patients’ access to critical safety-net health care coverage through Medicaid.

For more than 6 years, Dr. Ann Ramsdell has been working on research that could significantly change the way breast cancer is detected and treated.

Her research has proven that at the molecular level, cancer cells develop differently on one side of the body compared to the other.

However, she's faced with the threat that her lab could go dark if funding is cut by the National Institutes of Health.  Ramsdell, has a connection to her research that's greater than just being a scientist, she's also a breast cancer survivor.

If you want to make sure lawmakers know how you feel about the proposed budget cuts, click this link.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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