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Call to Action for All Advocates!

Lung Cancer Alliance recently brought hundreds of lung cancer patient advocates together to share our stories with our representatives and request increased lung cancer research funding and support for the Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventive Services Act of 2018. Part One of this article focuses on the issue of increased research funding. Part Two focuses on the Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventive Services Act of 2018.

It is important for every lung cancer patient and advocate to understand this issue. If lung cancer matters to you, then this issue matters to you. Please understand and follow me here. It’s not complicated.

Surprises in medical research support

It was surprising to me when I first learned that the Department of Defense funds medical research. Through the Congressionally Funded Medical Research Program (CDMRP), the DoD funds a lot of medical research for a variety of diseases.

The first disease to be funded by this program was the Breast Cancer Research Program which received $25 million in 1992. The Lung Cancer Research Program began in 2009 with $20 million appropriated for lung cancer research.

On the one hand, I am delighted that lung cancer research is being funded. And $20 million is nothing to sneeze at. However, when it comes to medical research, it truly does not go that far. And by the time they start whittling that $20 million down to $15 million, then $12.8 million, then to $10.2 million and so on, well, you can see things are not heading in the right direction.

Funding frustrations

Stay with me now because this is important. As our $20 million was being cut in half, each and every year the Breast Cancer Research Program received either $150 million or $120 million. In 2017, the lung cancer program received $12 million while the breast cancer program received ten times that amount–$120 million. For more information, check out the CDMRP funding history.

I get angry when I consider the disparity of funding in this program. I mean, how is this even possible? How can our government pick winners and losers in cancer? It’s beyond understanding.

A call to advocates

This has little to nothing to do with political parties. Both parties have been in office under these travesties. Frankly, it has more to do with us than with them. If our political leaders do not hear from us, they will assume we don’t care. Trust me, they are hearing from breast cancer advocates.

Under the leadership of Lung Cancer Alliance, advocates requested that Congress restore our original $20 million. This is an incredibly reasonable and modest request.

We have a champion in Congress who is embracing our cause. It became his cause, too, when his daughter who has young children was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Congressman Rick Nolan was instrumental in the House restoring the $20 million funds. However, the matter is now in the Senate’s court.

Next steps

We hope to build on that $20 million in the future, but for now, we need that $20 million restored. There are several ways to do this, but Lung Cancer Alliance has made it extremely easy.

Send a message to your Congressperson and Senators. Personalize the message, if you like, or leave it as is. If you’re not sure who your representatives are? No worries. You can look up who your resresentatives are here.

You have a voice. Now is the time to use it. Please share the links with others!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.